An Empirical Assesment of the Direct and Indirect Effects of Mental Health Disorders on Probation Outcomes




Maliek, Nishita Amin

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Probation is the most common correctional sanction in the United States. A growing concern within probation is the continuous growth of the population of individuals who suffer from mental health disorders and the adverse outcomes they face (Wolff et al., 2014). Using data from one urban probation agency in the Southwestern United States, the current study compared individuals on a specialized mental health caseload, and individuals on standard supervision to determine if individuals with mental health disorders are at an increased risk of probation failure. The results of the study indicate that individuals supervised on the mental health caseload have a higher prevalence of risk factors, leading to an increased prevalence of probation failure relative to the general population of probationers. The results of the study are relevant to probation departments, and imply that departments should focus on reducing the prevalence of risk factors within this population. This may be best accomplished by re-allocating resources, and engaging in evidence based practices to reduce probation failure amongst the probation population with mental health disorders. A full discussion of the study results, and its implications are provided below.


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Corrections, Incarceration, Mental Health, Probation, Probation Failure, Reintegration



Criminal Justice