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Mental and Substance Use Disorders Among Adult Men on Probation or Parole: Some Success Against a Persistent Challenge

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2011
16 pages
This study obtained data on mental disorders and substance-use disorders among adult men on supervised release (probation or parole) from local, State, and Federal prisons and jails.
The study concludes that treatment needs are not being met for a significant number of probationers and parolees with mental or substance-use disorders. Consequently, they are at greater risk for parole or probation failure that leads to reincarceration. From 2002 to 2009, illegal drug use among people on probation and parole remained a challenge, with rates of drug abuse and dependence remaining two to three times as high as rates among non-probationers and non-parolees in the general population. Similarly, rates of any mental illness, serious mental illness, serious psychological distress, and depression during the past year were two to three times higher among probationers and parolees than among other respondents. Probationers and parolees were more likely than others to have received some mental health services in the past year, but they were also more likely to report an unmet need for mental health services. In 2009, the percentages of probationers and parolees with mental disorders who accessed services or reported an unmet need for mental health services remained unchanged. The findings suggest an ongoing need for broader implementation of effective treatment and reentry services for this high-risk, mostly nonviolent population, such as those provided under ongoing Federal grant programs focused on reentering offenders. Data were drawn from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics data collected from probation and parole agencies for year-end reports, as well as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The NDSUH is an annual data set based on a national probability sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population 12 years old and older. 8 tables, 25 references, and appended supplementary information

Date Published: May 1, 2011