Societal Reentry of Prison Inmates With Mental Illness: Obstacles, Programs, and Best Practices
Societal reentry from prison presents a wide array of extreme challenges to inmates attempting to reintegrate with society. This process is significantly more daunting for inmates suffering from mental illness for several reasons. This paper examines the reentry process for inmates with mental illness. Three sample reentry programs (Forensic Assertive Community Treatment, Critical Time Intervention, and Thresholds' Prison Aftercare Program) that were developed for inmates with mental illness are discussed along with research testifying to the effectiveness of these programs. Finally, components that would comprise an ideal prison reentry program for mentally ill inmates are outlined, which include a three-phase structure and a focus on preparing both inmates and communities for the reentry process.