Double Jeopardy

Persons With Mental Illnesses in the Criminal Justice System

About the Course:

Persons with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system are particularly vulnerable. They bear a double burden: the stigma associated with their mental illness and the stress of potential arrest and confinement. The problems discussed in this report are complex and multifaceted. No single solution or program will address the needs of all persons with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. However, the material compiled provides a place for federal, state, and local officials; policymakers; mental health and corrections personnel; researchers; and advocates to begin talking about, and planning action to achieve effective solutions.


The GAINS Center

Publication Date:

February, 1995


Bonita M. Veysey, Ph.D., Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D., and Susan Salasin

About the Author:

Bonita M. Veysey and Henry J. Steadman are with Policy Research Associates, Inc., and Susan Salasin is associated with the Center for Mental Health Services.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Explain the changing context of care for people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.

  2. Describe the population of criminally involved mental health patients.

  3. Define the needs of people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.

  4. Discuss solutions to the challenges of treating criminally involved people with mental health issues.

Exam Questions

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