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Risk of Reincarceration Among Prisoners with Co-occurring Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

Abstract

This study examined whether the presence of a comorbid substance use disorder increased the risk of criminal recidivism and reincarceration in prison inmates with a severe mental illness. Our analyses of more than 61,000 Texas prison inmates showed that those with a co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorder exhibited a substantially higher risk of multiple incarcerations over a 6-year period compared to inmates with psychiatric disorders alone or substance use disorders alone. Further research is needed to identify the factors associated with criminal recidivism among released prisoners with co-occurring disorders.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Leonard Pechacek for assistance in writing and editing this manuscript. The research described in this publication was coordinated in part by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) research agreement (515-MR07). The contents of this manuscript reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the TDCJ.

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Correspondence to Jacques Baillargeon.

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Baillargeon, J., Penn, J.V., Knight, K. et al. Risk of Reincarceration Among Prisoners with Co-occurring Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders. Adm Policy Ment Health 37, 367–374 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-009-0252-9

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Keywords

  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Prisons
  • Criminal recidivism