Examines the evidence for the speculation that mentally ill persons who would previously have been treated within mental hospitals are now processed through the criminal justice system and constitute an ever-increasing proportion of the jail population. Three factors underlie this speculation: the increase in mentally ill persons residing in the community, police handling of the mentally ill, and evidence that persons thought to be dangerous are among the most unwanted clients of mental health agencies. Three types of research are explored: archival studies, investigations of police decision making, and studies of the prevalence of mental disorder among jail detainees. It is concluded that the research literature, albeit methodologically flawed, offers at least modest support for the contention that the mentally ill are being processed through the criminal justice system. (81 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
- criminalization, mentally ill, literature review
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