Patterns of Release Conditions Related to Mental Health among Offenders Supervised in the Community
What it means
The proportion of offenders who are imposed release conditions related to mental health (specifically, to follow psychological counsel, follow psychiatric counsel, take prescribed medication, or participate in psychological assessment) at conditional release has increased over time. Given this increase, it is essential to continue identifying ways in which offenders granted conditional release can be connected to psychological and mental health services in the community. Notably, the continued use of pre-release discharge planning and the Community Mental Health Initiative may assist in reaching this goal; these approaches and resources are available both to offenders with and without release conditions related to mental health.
What we found
Over time, there has been a slight increase in the proportion of offenders imposed mental health-related conditions at first release (see Figure). When focusing specifically on Aboriginal offenders, mental health-related conditions had initially been imposed less often than the overall population; however, they are now receiving these conditions at a similar rate. Women offenders have consistently been more likely to receive mental health-related conditions, with the largest increases occurring in more recent years.
Imposition of conditions related to mental healthThis figure shows changes in the imposition of mental health conditions between 2001 and 2012 fiscal years. The frequency of imposed mental health conditions is shown on the left vertical axis, ranging from 0 to 50 percent. Changes are shown among the overall population of offenders granted conditional release, Aboriginal offenders granted conditional release, and women offenders granted conditional release. There is a slight increase in the frequency of imposed mental health conditions among the overall population, increasing from approximately 18% in 2001-02 to approximately 25% in 2011-12. Among Aboriginal offenders, the frequency of imposed mental health conditions increased from approximately 11% in 2001-02 to approximately 25% in 2011-12. Among women offenders, the frequency of imposed mental health conditions increased from approximately 24% in 2001-02 to approximately 43% in 2011-12, where the largest increase of 11% occurred between 2010-11 and 2011-12.
When focusing exclusively on offenders released in 2011-12, those with a mental health diagnosis or using psychotropic medications at admission, as well as those who accessed mental health services during the last year of incarceration, were more likely to receive mental health-related conditions than other offenders. The relationship between the imposition of these conditions and these mental health indicators was weak to moderate; in contrast, certain other types of conditions were strongly linked to associated indicators (e.g., substance abuse indicators were strongly linked to substance use-related conditions).
When again considering only those released in 2011-12, the Parole Board of Canada imposed mental health-related conditions directly – that is, without the Correctional Service of Canada recommending the condition – more often than they did so for most other condition types.
Why we did this study
Given the high rates of mental health needs in the offender population, an exploratory investigation was undertaken to examine patterns relating to the imposition of mental health-related conditions among offenders granted conditional release.
What we did
Information on mental health-related conditions was examined for all offenders granted conditional release from CSC between 2001-02 and 2011-12 (N = 52,095). More detailed analyses were conducted with offenders granted conditional release in fiscal year 2011-12 (N = 4,467).
For more information
Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.
You can also visit the website for a full list of research publications.
Prepared by: Mary Ritchie, Renée Gobeil, Trina Forrester, & Caysha Saddleback
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