Access to supported employment for consumers with criminal justice involvement

Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2010 Summer;34(1):49-56. doi: 10.2975/34.1.2010.49.56.


Objective: This paper aims to provide further understanding of the influence of severe mental illness (SMI) and criminal justice involvement (CJI) on access to Supported Employment (SE) services. The authors investigate differences between consumers with and without CJI regarding access to SE and explore reasons for group differences.

Method: This study employs a mixed-methods design. The quantitative portion compares employment service utilization of consumers with CJI to consumers without CJI to examine hypothesized differences in frequency of access and time to receipt of SE services. The qualitative portion includes in-depth, individual interviews with consumers with CJI and service providers to gain various perspectives on consumers' with CJI entry to SE.

Results: Consumers with CJI take longer to access SE services. Consumers with CJI and service providers identify the following as barriers or facilitators to access to SE: competing challenges for consumers with CJI such as mental health probation, the adverse impact of CJI on consumers' psychosocial functioning, social networks, consumers' relationships with practitioners, and practitioners' relationship with SE.

Conclusions: Consumers with CJI do receive SE services at the same rate as those without CJI, but it takes them substantially longer to engage in SE services. Both programmatic and policy level interventions and modifications may ameliorate this problem.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Comorbidity
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / rehabilitation
  • Employment, Supported / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychotic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology
  • Schizophrenia / rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Support