Date: 20 Jan 2013

Examining the Impact of Mental Illness and Substance Use on Time till Re-incarceration in a County Jail

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This paper examines the role that substance use and serious mental illness play in criminal justice recidivism by examining the time to return to jail for a cohort of people admitted to jail in 2003 (N = 16,434). These analyses found that people with serious mental illness alone experienced the longest time in the community before returning to jail and were found to have a risk of re-incarceration that did not differ significantly from individuals with no psychiatric or substance use diagnoses. People with co-occurring disorders had a risk of re-incarceration that was over 40 % higher than that of individuals with no diagnosis.