Return to Custody: Pre-Release Assessment
Farabee and colleagues (2008) found that parolees who received a pre-release assessment through the Mental Health Services Continuum Program (MHSCP) had a significant, 7 percent reduction in the odds of being returned to custody within 12 months of release, compared with parolees who were not assessed.
Return to Custody: Parole Outpatient Clinic (POC) Attendance
In addition, parolees who had one or more POC contacts under the MHSCP had a significant, 52 percent reduction in the odds of being returned to custody within 12 months of release.
Farabee and colleagues (2008) assessed the effectiveness of the Mental Health Services Continuum Program (MHSCP) to reduce recidivism of parolees with mental health problems. A comparison was conducted between inmates who received pre-release assessments by Transitional Case Management Program (TMCP) social workers and non-assessed inmates. The sample (N=106,667) included inmates released between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007. The assessed treatment group included 45,764 inmates. The assessed group was 84 percent male, with an average age of 38.6 years. The race/ethnicity breakdown was 34.2 percent African American, 20.8 percent Hispanic, 41.7 percent white, and 3.3 percent other. The non-assessed comparison group included 60,903 inmates. The non-assessed group was 85.9 percent male, with an average age of 38.1 years. The race/ethnicity breakdown was 33.2 percent African American, 23 percent Hispanic, 40.4 percent white, and 3.5 percent other. There were significant differences between the groups on background characteristics, which were controlled for in the analysis.
The primary outcome of interest was recidivism, which was based on parolees’ return to custody, regardless of the reason. Recidivism was based on release cohorts, rather than on individuals, which means that one parolee could have accounted for multiple returns to custody.
A multivariate logistic regression was conducted to predict the likelihood that assessed parolees would be returned to custody within 12 months of release. For this analysis, a cohort of offenders who were released between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006 (N=74,015) were used, because a policy change to the MHSCP in early 2007 may have affected the results. The analysis included six control variables (age, gender, race/ethnicity, commitment offense, parole region, and severity of mental health problems) and two primary variables of interest related to the MHSCP transitional process: 1) whether inmates were assessed by a TMCP social worker prior to release; and 2) whether inmates had at least one Parole Outpatient Clinic contact following release.
Farabee and colleagues (2008) conducted a cost analysis of the Mental Health Services Continuum Program (MHSCP) by estimating the incremental cost savings associated with avoided incarceration costs with the receipt of the transitional services under the program.
The study authors found that pre-release assessments were associated with annual savings of $2,357 for each Enhanced Outpatient Program (EOP) parolee and $1,049 for each Correctional Clinical Case Management System (CCCMS) parolee, compared with non-assessed parolees.
In addition, it was found that having one or more Parole Outpatient Clinic (POC) contacts following release was associated with an annual savings of $4,881 for EOP parolees and $2,861 for CCCMS parolees, compared with parolees who had no POC contact.