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Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Engagement by Men and Women During Community Reentry Following Incarceration


Individuals reentering the community following incarceration are at high risk for experiencing mental health and substance use problems. This longitudinal study explores patterns and barriers for engaging treatment services during early reentry. Seventy-five men and 62 women in jail, prison, or community based correctional facilities (CBCFs) participated in pre- and post-release interviews. Findings indicate that services were engaged at a lower-than-needed rate and barriers were greater for individuals leaving jails compared to prison or CBCF. Exploratory factor analysis of the barriers instrument is presented. Implications for extending service access to this population are discussed, as are future directions for research.

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The collaborative partnership leading to Project RISE was supported by a grant from the Ohio Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) to the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA) and by the Ohio State University’s College of Social Work. The team is indebted to the fourteen participating state and county criminal justice facilities, the men and women who participated in the study, Ms. Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, and our student assistants: Emily Beavers, Melissa Brundage, NitishaBurkhead, Karen Call, Lindsay Gezinski, Greg Harrison, Tiffney Hughes, Lori Murphy, Tabitha Penny, Hillary Shaub, Chris Sielski, and Michael Wente.

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Correspondence to Audrey L. Begun.

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Begun, A.L., Early, T.J. & Hodge, A. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service Engagement by Men and Women During Community Reentry Following Incarceration. Adm Policy Ment Health 43, 207–218 (2016).

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  • Prisoner community reentry
  • Mental health and substance use services
  • Barriers to service engagement