Criminal Thinking, Psychiatric Symptoms, and Recovery Attitudes Among Community Mental Health Patients: An Examination of Program Placement

Nicole R. Bartholomew, Robert D. Morgan, Sean M. Mitchell, Stephanie A. Van Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Research suggests it is important to consider criminogenic needs among individuals with severe mental illness. This study aimed to determine the severity of criminal thinking in community-based clinical samples, understand the association between criminal thinking and psychiatric and criminal justice outcomes, and compare these associations between consumers enrolled in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) programs. Participants (N = 234) were male and female consumers enrolled in ACT and FACT programs in five states. Results revealed no significant differences in criminal thinking when comparing participants by program type or history of criminal justice involvement. There were significant positive relations between general criminal thinking and psychiatric symptomatology and the number of lifetime arrests, a negative association between recovery attitudes and general criminal thinking, and ACT participants reported a greater number of lifetime psychiatric hospitalizations than FACT participants. Result implications are discussed with specific reference to treatment programming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018



  • criminal justice involvement
  • criminal thinking
  • psychiatric symptoms
  • recovery attitudes

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