Community re-entry preparation/coordination

Henry A. Dlugacz

in Oxford Textbook of Correctional Psychiatry

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780199360574
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190224042 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks in Psychiatry

Community re-entry preparation/coordination

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The transition from short-term incarceration in jail or longer-term prison sentences back to the community presents substantial challenges for those with mental illness. Approximately 97 percent of all inmates return to the community. This simple reality makes it in society’s enlightened self-interest to be concerned with the readiness of these former inmates to live a productive life. The criminal justice and correctional treatment systems affect an inmate’s behavior and opportunities upon release. Successful reentry planning considers multiple interrelated issues (entitlements, housing, treatment needs, and so forth) when building an individualized plan to address them. It begins at admission (or even sentencing) and continues after release. Rather than considering incarceration to be an isolated event, reentry planning views incarceration as part of a cycle to be disrupted through targeted intervention. Correctional mental health treatment is seen as part of a continuum of care extending to the community. Reentry planning for people with serious mental illness should be a primary focus of correctional mental health care integrated into the treatment function, not an afterthought to be considered only as release is imminent. While acceptance of personal responsibility is a critical antecedent to leading a lawful life, and self-determination a fundamental principle of recovery, it is unrealistic for service providers to rely on the individual to coordinate fragmented public systems. This is the job of those funded to provide services. This chapter presents the current understanding of transition support needs and practices to optimize successful community reentry.

Chapter.  5972 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Forensic Psychiatry

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