The Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), has released a new report that looks at, on a state-by-state basis, the connection between severe mental illness, major crimes and community treatment.
Individuals with serious mental illness who have committed major crimes represent 2% of the estimated 8.2 million individuals with a severe psychiatric disease in the United States. Although this is a small segment of the total population, research shows that, without treatment, these individuals are at heightened risk of being re-arrested after their release from jail or prison or discharge from a forensic hospital.
- No state received an A grade. The majority of states do not provide adequate support in the community for individuals with serious mental illness who have committed major crimes, resulting in higher re-arrest rates and all the attendant human and economic costs of re-incarceration.
- Evidence-based programs can reduce the risk of re-arrest for individuals with serious mental illness living in the community from an average rate of 40%-60% to only 10% or less.
- The four states that received the best grades under this study - Hawaii, Maine, Missouri and Oregon-are all models that other states should look to for various aspects of their successful programming. Other states with exemplar programs and practices were also identified.