Examining the Impact of Mental Illness and Substance Use on Time till Re-incarceration in a County Jail



Amy Blank Wilson, Jeffrey Draine, Stacey Barrenger, Trevor Hadley, Arthur Evans Jr.

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

May 2014, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 293-301






This paper examines the role that substance use and serious mental illness play in criminal justice recidivism by examining the time to return to jail for a cohort of people admitted to jail in 2003 (N = 16,434). These analyses found that people with serious mental illness alone experienced the longest time in the community before returning to jail and were found to have a risk of re-incarceration that did not differ significantly from individuals with no psychiatric or substance use diagnoses. People with co-occurring disorders had a risk of re-incarceration that was over 40 % higher than that of individuals with no diagnosis.