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Stopping the Revolving Door

Title: Stopping the Revolving Door: The Efficacy of a Mental Health Court in Reducing Recidivism Among Mentally Ill Offenders.
Name(s): Anestis, Joye C. (Joye Cox), 1982-, author
Carbonell, Joyce, professor directing dissertation
Bales, William, university representative
Bernat, Edward, committee member
Licht, Mark, committee member
Schatschneider, Chris, committee member
Department of Psychology, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Studies on the efficacy of mental health courts (MHCs), criminal courts designed to decrease the number of mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system and limit time spent incarcerated, find a reduction in recidivism rates for participants. Unfortunately, methodological limitations diminish the conclusions drawn from these studies. Additionally, untested assumptions are made about the necessary components of an MHC (e.g., voluntariness, type of judge-defendant interaction) and the types of offenders (e.g., felons) allowed. This study examined if a novel MHC impacted recidivism in a sample of mentally ill offenders, when compared both to mentally ill offenders placed into traditional criminal court and to themselves pre-enrollment. All offenders were followed for 12 months, and data for the MHC group were also obtained for the 12 months prior to index offense. Overall, results were consistent with previous reports on the effectiveness of MHCs. The MHC sample had a lower overall rate of recidivism and a longer time to new charge than the control group, even when controlling for relevant covariates. Groups did not significantly differ on re-arrest severity. These findings largely held when examining subgroups of felony, misdemeanor, violent, and non-violent offenders. Within-subjects analyses of the MHC group suggest pre-post improvements on occurrence of re-arrest and months to re-arrest, but a tendency to increase the severity of rearrest. Within the MHC group, recidivism outcomes did not significantly differ between misdemeanor and felony offenders and between violent and non-violent offenders. Implications regarding mechanisms of change in MHCs are discussed.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-5314 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2012.
Date of Defense: July 18, 2012.
Keywords: diversion, mental health court, mentally ill offender, recidivism
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Joyce Carbonell, Professor Directing Dissertation; William Bales, University Representative; Edward Bernat, Committee Member; Mark Licht, Committee Member; Chris Schatschneider, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Anestis, J. C. (J. C. ). (2012). Stopping the Revolving Door: The Efficacy of a Mental Health Court in Reducing Recidivism Among Mentally Ill Offenders. Retrieved from