The authors discuss how research has shown that many adults with serious mental illness cycle through jails; they provide a review of other research data examining mental illness among incarcerated population and discuss their data analysis of arrest rates following administration of assisted outpatient treatment or voluntary enhanced services.
This study analyzed data from a sample of individuals with serious mental illness in six counties across New York State; its purpose was to determine whether individuals had lower arrest rates when receiving assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) or voluntary enhanced services than before initiating either. The authors suggest that New York State's AOT program, and the intensive services provided under the program, could decrease criminal justice involvement for adults with serious mental illness. AOT is court-mandated treatment designed for individuals who are unlikely to live safely in the community without supervision and who are also unlikely to voluntarily participate in treatment; its goal is to improve access and adherence to intensive behavioral health services. The court order stipulates that intensive case management services must be provided to individuals while they are in the AOT program. Under an alternative arrangement, some individuals for whom an AOT order is pursued in court sign a voluntary service agreement in lieu of a formal court order. Under a voluntary agreement, the individual is directed to the same array of services as those who receive an AOT order; however, the individual signs a statement that he or she will adhere to a prescribed community treatment plan rather than receiving a mandate from the court. Publisher Abstract Provided
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