Individuals with serious mental illness who have committed major crimes represent 2% of the estimated 8.2 million individuals with a severe psychiatric disease in the United States. Although this is a small segment of the total population, research shows that, without treatment, these individuals are at heightened risk of being re-arrested after their release from jail or prison or discharge from a forensic hospital.
Because the timely and effective treatment of individuals with the most severe mental illness is the focus of its mission, the Treatment Advocacy Center conducted a survey of selected state systems and structures available to individuals with serious mental illness who have committed major crimes. The states were graded from A to F based on the availability and comprehensiveness of these practices.
The result, Treat or Repeat: A State Survey of Serious Mental illness, Major Crimes and Community Treatment, finds this population is often overlooked in programming and funding decisions. The report recommends prioritizing evidence-based treatment to reduce re-arrest of individuals with serious mental illness who have a history of violence.
Evidence-based programs for individuals with serious mental illness who have committed major crimes allow individuals to succeed in the community following reentry from jail or prison or after discharge from a forensic psychiatric bed by providing complete and intensive treatment. However, no state in the United States utilizes them comprehensively or effectively.
Treatment Advocacy Center