Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 527–544 | Cite as

Extending Assertive Community Treatment to Criminal Justice Settings: Origins, Current Evidence, and Future Directions

  • Joseph MorrisseyEmail author
  • Piper Meyer
  • Gary Cuddeback


This paper presents an overview of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) as an evidence-based practice in mental health care. We then consider current evidence for FACT (ACT for forensic populations) and FICM (intensive case management for forensic populations) and the ways these models have been extended and adapted to serve mentally ill persons in a variety of criminal justice settings. The available evidence about the effectiveness of these models towards preventing recidivism among criminally-justice involved persons with mental illness is weak. We conclude with several suggestions for how the clinical model of FACT needs to be expanded to incorporate interventions aimed at reducing criminal behavior and recidivism.


Criminal Justice Severe Mental Illness Assertive Community Treatment Drug Court Assertive Community Treatment Team 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Work on this paper was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Mental Health Policy Research Network and the GAINS EBP Center. The helpful comments of Fred Osher, Kim Mueser, and Robert Drake on an earlier version of this paper are gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks are due to the attendees of the GAINS EBP Center’s Expert Panel Meeting on Assertive Community Treatment held in Bethesda, MD on February 18, 2005 where an earlier version of this paper was presented and discussed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Department of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, Department of PsychologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, School of Social WorkUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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