Inmate attitudes toward treatment: Mental health service utilization and treatment effects

Lucas B. Shaw, Robert D. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study examined inmate attitudes toward treatment, mental health treatment utilization, and treatment effects that maximize treatment effectiveness. Participants consisted of 278 incarcerated male adult offenders from the Kansas Department of Corrections. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that inmate attitudes toward treatment were predictive of the number of mental health treatment sessions (dosage) inmates received. Hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated positive help-seeking attitudes were associated with institutional behavior (decreased number and severity of disciplinary infractions) and scores on a measure assessing risk for future criminal behavior; however, the amount of mental health treatment an inmate received (treatment dosage) was associated with problematic institutional behavior (i.e., increased severity and number of disciplinary infractions). These results indicated that treatment dosage and behavioral outcomes were impacted by inmate attitudes toward treatment. As a result, correctional psychologists may be better able to predict which inmates will receive the most benefit from services. Implications of these findings for practitioners and policy makers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-261
Number of pages13
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Inmate
  • Mental health treatment
  • Offender
  • Service utilization


Dive into the research topics of 'Inmate attitudes toward treatment: Mental health service utilization and treatment effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this