The impact of regionalization on reentry service outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Community Mental Health Services; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Mental Disorders; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Prisoners; Severity of Illness Index


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


OBJECTIVE: The belief that public mental health services should be regionalized has guided their delivery for the past four decades. But there have been few opportunities to observe and evaluate a service entity's shift from a centralized to a regionalized delivery system. This brief report focuses on the regionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health's forensic transition team, a service that manages community reentry from correctional settings for persons with severe mental illness.

METHODS: Pre-and postregionalization episodes (N=957) were compared to examine the consequences of regionalizing the forensic transition team.

RESULTS: Overall, engagement in services, a key forensic transition team outcome measure, improved postregionalization. Unexpectedly, the rate of loss to follow-up significantly increased among former county house of correction inmates.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, regionalizing reentry services increased the forensic transition team's capability and expertise in managing reentry for persons with mental illness. However, follow-up of individuals exiting county houses of correction remains a challenge.

DOI of Published Version



Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Mar;60(3):394-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID