Behavioral health and recidivism among rural county jail inmates

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alyssa Leigh Raggio (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Alvin Malesky

Abstract: The United States has higher rates of incarceration than any other country. Incarceration has negative effects on individuals, their families, and society. Jails face two major issues that this study focuses on: high rates of behavioral health disorders and high rates of recidivism. Of all correctional settings, jails have been found to have the highest rates of behavioral health disorders. This is problematic for these facilities, as there is a legal requirement that jails assess for, and treat, mental illness. Recidivism is also a concern for jails, contributing to the overcrowding that many of these facilities experience. Research is in general agreement that mental health disorders (MHD) and substance use disorders (SUD) are associated with a higher risk of recidivism; however, research in rural jails is lacking. The current study includes a three and a half year follow up to assess the link between behavioral health and recidivism among 283 rural county jail inmates. The relationship between MHDs, SUDs, & recidivism is investigated in order to determine which, if any, behavioral health disorders are associated with higher risk of rearrest. Findings support the need for correctional facilities to implement evidence-based interventions for individuals at higher risk of recidivism, potentially leading to a decrease in recidivism rates.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Jails -- Rural
Inmates of institutions -- Mental health
Prisoners -- Mental health
Inmates of institutions -- Drug abuse
Prisoners -- Drug abuse

Email this document to