Risk of Incarceration between Cohorts of Veterans with and Without Mental Illness Discharged from Inpatient Units

Psychiatric Services, Vol. 59, p. 178, 2008

Posted: 7 Mar 2008

See all articles by Steven K. Erickson

Steven K. Erickson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Robert Rosenheck

Yale Medical School

Robert Trestman

University of Connecticut - School of Medicine

Julian D. Ford

University of Connecticut - School of Medicine

Rani A. Desai

Yale University

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the risk of incarceration among cohorts of veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System. Incarceration rates of persons with and without mental illness were compared and adjusted for various clinical and service utilization variables. Data were compared before and after the closure of over 80% of the Connecticut VA psychiatric inpatient beds in 1996.

METHODS: Data from five annual cohorts of patients (1993-1997) treated in an inpatient unit in the VA Connecticut Healthcare System (N=36,385) were merged with state Department of Correction data. Logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for incarceration.

RESULTS: Bivariate analysis showed that incarceration rates were higher for VA patients with psychiatric disorders and with substance use disorders than for those without such diagnoses, but there were no significant increases in likelihood of incarceration over these years of extensive closures. In multiple logistic regression analysis only diagnoses of substance use disorders and major depression were independently associated with an increased likelihood of incarceration, whereas schizophrenia, personality disorders, and co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders were not independently associated with increased likelihood in multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol and drug problems appeared to account for much of the risk of incarceration among hospitalized veterans during the study period. Unlike in previous studies, schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders were not independently associated with an increased risk of incarceration.

Keywords: incarceration, jail, mental illness, veterans

Suggested Citation

Erickson, Steven K. and Rosenheck, Robert and Trestman, Robert and Ford, Julian D. and Desai, Rani A., Risk of Incarceration between Cohorts of Veterans with and Without Mental Illness Discharged from Inpatient Units. Psychiatric Services, Vol. 59, p. 178, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1102403

Steven K. Erickson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Robert Rosenheck

Yale Medical School ( email )

333 Cedar Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Robert Trestman

University of Connecticut - School of Medicine ( email )

Farmington, CT

Julian D. Ford

University of Connecticut - School of Medicine ( email )

Farmington, CT

Rani A. Desai

Yale University ( email )

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