Community mental health services and the prevalence of severe mental illness in local jails: are they related
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Adult; Bipolar Disorder; Community Mental Health Services; Deinstitutionalization; Depressive Disorder; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Mentally Disabled Persons; Prevalence; Prisoners; Prisons; Privatization; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales; Schizophrenia
Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
The excessive prevalence of severe mental illness noted in correctional settings has sometimes been attributed to the inadequacy of community based mental health services. This study examines the prevalence of severe mental illness in two jails situated within catchment areas featuring markedly different levels of community mental health services. We use these settings to test the hypothesis that greater levels of services in a community are associated with lower prevalence of severe mental illness in the community's jail. An epidemiologic approach, using standardized field instruments, was used to estimate the prevalence of major mental illness in detainees arriving at the two sites over a 6-month period. The hypothesis that greater levels of mental health resources in a community would be associated with lower prevalence of mental illness in the community's jail was not supported. These findings suggest that community-based mental health services by themselves do not affect the prevalence of mental illness in jail.
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Citation: Adm Policy Ment Health. 2000 Jul;27(6):371-82.
Fisher, William H.; Packer, Ira K.; Simon, Lorna J.; and Smith, David, "Community mental health services and the prevalence of severe mental illness in local jails: are they related" (2000). Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations. 271.