Background Homeless individuals are at increased risk for health and criminal justice problems. Aims The aim of this study was to examine risk factors affecting arrest rates in a cohort of homeless people with co-occurring psychiatric and substance-abuse disorders. Methods Baseline data were collected from 96 homeless individuals residing in a residential treatment facility for people with co-occurring disorders. Arrest data were obtained for 2 years following treatment intake. Regression analyses were employed to examine interactions between study variables. Results One third of the sample was arrested during the 2-year follow-up period, principally for drug offences. People referred to treatment directly from the criminal justice system were four times more likely to re-offend than those referred from other sources. Participants’ perceived need for mental-health services reduced risk of arrest while their perception of medical needs increased this risk. Conclusions The relationship between referral from a criminal justice source and re-arrest after admission to the treatment facility is unsurprising, and consistent with previous literature, but the suggestion of an independently increased risk in the presence of perceived physical health-care needs is worthy of further study. The lower risk of arrest for people who perceive that they have psychological needs is encouraging.
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, v. 19, issue 5, p. 291-297
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_moore/33/