Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses Who Are Arrested and Incarcerated

  • Fred Osher
  • Michael Thompson


The disproportionately high percentage of adults with serious mental illnesses in correctional facilities is well documented. For decades, mental health officials, family members, and people with mental illnesses have implored local, state, and federal government officials to invest in community-based mental health services as a way to address this phenomenon. This chapter explores why it is that so many adults with mental illness are arrested and incarcerated, what is different about this problem today than years ago, how much recent progress has been realized, and what challenges must be addressed in the years ahead to make fundamental change. The chapter ends with a description of promising national initiatives that build on the accomplishments to date with the express purpose of reducing the number of adults with serious mental illnesses under correctional supervision.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Osher
    • 1
  • Michael Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.The Council of State Governments Justice CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.The Pew Charitable TrustsPhiladelphiaUSA

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