Criminal Risk and Mental Illness in Psychiatric Inpatient Units: An Opportunity to Provide Psychological Services for Unmet Criminogenic Needs

Faith Scanlon, Robert D. Morgan, Sean M. Mitchell, Angelea D. Bolaños, Nicole R. Bartholomew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although the overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system is known, research is needed to identify the frequency of criminal justice involvement and criminogenic treatment needs in inpatient populations to improve continuity of care and access to appropriate treatments. The purpose of this study is to document the frequency of criminal justice involvement among people receiving inpatient community care, as has been done for persons with mental illness in correctional institutions, and to test the association between criminogenic risk and psychiatric symptomatology. The present study uses two samples (n = 94 and n = 142) of adults from two separate acute psychiatric inpatient hospitals in Texas. Data on psychiatric symptoms, mental health history, criminal risk, and criminal justice history were gathered from file review and self-report. Linear and negative binomial regressions were used to test associations of interest. In both samples, the frequency of prior criminal justice involvement was over 50%. The current results indicate there is a significant, positive association between measures of criminal risk and psychiatric symptoms. These findings highlight the need to address the reciprocal association between mental illness and criminal risk among people receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment with appropriate assessment and treatment

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological services
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Criminal justice involvement
  • Criminal risk
  • Inpatient care

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