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Jail Recidivism and Receipt of Community Mental Health Services
Phyllis Solomon; Jeffrey Draine; Arthur Meyerson
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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This research is funded by grant R18MH46162 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Hahnemann University, 1427 Vine Street, Room 405, Mail Stop 988, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102; New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The authors' aim was to test the relationship between receipt of desired community mental health services by homeless mentally ill forensic clients and whether the clients returned to jail within six months.Methods: Mentally ill homeless dients leaving jail were randomly assigned to three service conditions: intensive case management provided by an assertive community treatment team, intensive case management provided by individual case managers, and referral to a community mental health center. Data on whether clients' service needs were met were analyzed using discriminant function and chi square analyses.Results: Thirty-two percent of the 105 clients interviewed at six months were reincarcerated during the six month study period. Jail recidivism was related to receipt of fewer services that clients reported they needed, specifically to receipt of fewer services for developing independent living skills. Service condition was not significantly related to return to jail.Conclusions: Case management, a flexible community-based service that does not lend itself to clearly prescribed procedures, may easily deteriorate into providing monitoring rather than rehabilitative services for forensic clients and thus may facilitate reincarceration.

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