Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2001
THE MENTALLY ILL IN JAILS AND
PRISONS: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED
MODEL OF PREVENTION
J. Steven Lamberti, M.D., Robert L. Weisman, D.O.,
Steven B. Schwarzkopf, M.D., Nancy Price, M.S., R.N., N.P.P.,
Rudo Mundondo Ashton, M.S., R.N., and
John Trompeter, C.S.W.
Jails and prisons have become a ﬁnal destination for persons with severe
mental illness in America. Addiction, homelessness, and fragmentation of ser-
vices have contributed to the problem, and have underscored the need for
new models of service delivery. Project Link is a university-led consortium of
ﬁve community agencies in Monroe County, New York that spans healthcare,
social service and criminal justice systems. The program features a mobile
treatment team with a forensic psychiatrist, a dual diagnosis treatment resi-
dence, and culturally competent staff. This paper discusses the importance of
service integration in preventing jail and hospital recidivism, and describes
steps that Project Link has taken towards integrating healthcare, criminal
justice, and social services. Results from a preliminary evaluation suggest
that Project Link may be effective in reducing recidivism and in improving
community adjustment among severely mentally ill patients with histories of
arrest and incarceration.
KEY WORDS: schizophrenia; addiction; incarceration; integration; prevention.
Jails and prisons have grown rapidly within the United States in re-
cent years. Between 1985 and 1998, the number of inmates in jails
The authors are with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School
of Medicine and Dentistry, where Dr. Lamberti is Associate Professor, and Drs. Weis-
man and Schwarzkopf are Assistant Professors.
Address reprint requests to J. Steven Lamberti, M.D., Strong Ties Community Sup-
port Program, 1650 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14620.
0033-2720/01/0300-0063$19.50/0 2001 Human Sciences Press, Inc.