This study examined the relationship between a sample of 98 probationers with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and probation staff in three programs: mental health court, specialized mental health probation, and standard probation.
Overall, findings show the importance of relational experiences in the context of probation supervision for people with SMI. Probationers in the mental health court rated the quality of their relationships with probation officers higher than did those in standard probation. Qualitative analyses highlight caring as a bedrock relational factor upon which other relationship dimensions rest. Also important was support in developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships. (Publisher abstract modified)