Thursday, December 5, 2013

“We found that high medication possession and receipt of routine outpatient services reduced the risk of arrest…,” write the authors from two universities. “In addition, participants who were arrested after discharge from their index hospitalization used a different, and more costly, mix of services than those who were not arrested.”

RESEARCH: The Math of Reducing Criminalization

From the Treatment Advocacy Center

(Dec. 5, 2013) Outpatient treatment for mental illness reduces arrests, according to still another study (“Effects of outpatient treatment on risk of arrest of adults with serious mental illness and associated costs - psych services - 2013.pdf,” Psychiatric Services, Sept. 2013).
jail_barbedwireAnd reducing arrests in the population of citizens with severe mental illness saves taxpayers money.
“We found that high medication possession and receipt of routine outpatient services reduced the risk of arrest…,” write the authors from two universities. “In addition, participants who were arrested after discharge from their index hospitalization used a different, and more costly, mix of services than those who were not arrested.”
The authors said their research added “to a growing body of evidence” that shows outpatient treatment reduces the likelihood of arrest, particularly for misdemeanor crimes. Cost savings occurred even though those who received treatment used more services.
The findings are encouraging news for individuals who recognize they are ill and who adhere to treatment. They also illustrate the personal and social costs of failing to pass and use assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) laws for those who have trouble adhering.
Disinformation from opponents to the contrary, there is no evidence that mandatory treatment is any less effective than voluntary treatment. If outpatient treatment reduces arrest and costs, AOT does, too.
Reserving outpatient treatment only for those well enough to seek it is discriminatory and inhumane. To subtract criminalization from mental illness, an active AOT program for those who aren’t needs to be in the toolbox of every jurisdiction.
To comment, visit our Facebook page.
Visit our blog archive to read all our recent posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment