Objective: Community mental health providers’ attitudes toward criminal justice–involved clients with serious mental illness were examined. Methods: A total of 627 Maryland psychiatric rehabilitation program providers responded to a survey (83% response rate). Measures assessed providers’ experience with, positive regard for, and perceptions of similarity, with their clients with serious mental illness. Chi-square tests were used to compare providers’ attitudes toward clients with and without criminal justice involvement. Results: Providers reported lower regard for criminal justice–involved clients than for clients without such involvement. Providers were less likely to report having a great deal of respect for clients with (79%) versus without (95%) criminal justice involvement. On all items that measured providers’ perceived similarity with their clients, less than 50% of providers rated themselves as similar, regardless of clients’ criminal justice status. Conclusions: Future research should explore how providers’ attitudes toward criminal justice–involved clients influence service delivery for this group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health