How the prison-to-community transition risk environment influences the experience of men with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder

Previous research has established that people with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorder leaving prison have multiple and complex health, social and economic challenges. How the criminal justice and mental health systems influence the individual prison-to-community transition...

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Published in:The Australian and New Zealand journal of criminology
Main Author: Denton, Michelle (Author)
Contributors: Foster, Michele A. (Author); Bland, Robert
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2017
In:The Australian and New Zealand journal of criminology
Year: 2017, Volume: 50, Issue: 1, Pages: 39-55
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Previous research has established that people with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorder leaving prison have multiple and complex health, social and economic challenges. How the criminal justice and mental health systems influence the individual prison-to-community transition experience of this population is less well understood. This paper draws on unique qualitative data from a study of 18 men with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorder leaving prison in Queensland, Australia. A repeat in-depth interview method was used to explore the experiences of the men in prison just prior to release and at two points post-release. Two themes are discussed from analysis of interviews: “risk behaviour and relapse” and “once a criminal always a risk”. The findings suggest that individual risk behaviour is structured within a transition risk environment that reduces individual agency, thus facilitating a vicious cycle of release, relapse and reincarceration.
ISSN:1837-9273
DOI:10.1177/0004865815620703