10 Jun Treatment of Mental Illness Lowers Arrest Rates, Saves Money
Research from North Carolina State University, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and the University of South Florida shows that outpatient treatment of mental illness significantly reduces arrest rates for people with mental health problems and saves taxpayers money.
“This study shows that providing mental health care is not only in the best interest of people with mental illness, but in the best interests of society,” says Dr. Sarah Desmarais, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research.
The researchers wanted to determine the extent to which treating mental illness can keep people with mental health problems out of trouble with the law. It is well established that people with mental health problems, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, make up a disproportionate percentage of defendants, inmates and others who come into contact with the criminal justice system.