Mental illness along the criminal justice continuum

Stacey Barrenger, K Canada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Persons with mental illnesses are overrepresented along the criminal justice continuum (police, courts, parole and probation, incarceration, and reentry), which expose individuals to risk but can also serve at points of intervention. Two predominant explanations for this overrepresentation and the evidence surrounding interventions are examined. The most common interventions at each point on the continuum and their research evidence are examined, providing an overview of promising interventions, highlighting the need for more robust research or program development, and laying the groundwork for future systematic reviews at each point on the continuum. In general, interventions have not reduced the prevalence of persons with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. Future interventions should address the individual, environmental, and structural factors exposing individuals to continued contact with the criminal justice system, requiring an interdisciplinary effort across the criminal justice and mental health workforce to address this complex problem.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-149
JournalJournal of Forensic Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


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