Objective:
Community mental health providers’ attitudes toward criminal justice–involved clients with serious mental illness were examined.

Methods:
A total of 627 Maryland psychiatric rehabilitation program providers responded to a survey (83% response rate). Measures assessed providers’ experience with, positive regard for, and perceptions of similarity, with their clients with serious mental illness. Chi-square tests were used to compare providers’ attitudes toward clients with and without criminal justice involvement.

Results:
Providers reported lower regard for criminal justice–involved clients than for clients without such involvement. Providers were less likely to report having a great deal of respect for clients with (79%) versus without (95%) criminal justice involvement. On all items that measured providers’ perceived similarity with their clients, less than 50% of providers rated themselves as similar, regardless of clients’ criminal justice status.

Conclusions:
Future research should explore how providers’ attitudes toward criminal justice–involved clients influence service delivery for this group.

Sachini N. Bandara, M.S., Gail L. Daumit, M.D., M.H.S., Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, Ph.D., Sarah Linden, M.P.H., Seema Choksy, M.P.P., Emma E. McGinty, Ph.D., M.S.
Psychiatric Services, Volume 69, Issue 4, April 01, 2018
https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201700321
https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.201700321

Mental Health Providers’ Attitudes About Criminal Justice–Involved Clients With Serious Mental Illness – 2018