Thesis Title

Identification of Severe Mental Illness: Analysis and Variation of Intake Procedures At the Greene County Jail

Date of Graduation

Summer 1999

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Paul Companik

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

Prevalence findings indicate that inmates in correctional facilities are more likely to meet criteria for severe mental illnesses such as mood and thought disorders than individuals in the general population. Although legal and professional standards mandate screening for mental illness in jails, few procedures exist that can be completed in the limited time spans under which jails function. The Referral Decision Scale was compared with the current booking procedure at the Greene County Jail using crosstabulations. Although the RDS had a higher number of false positives, it also identified more mentally ill inmates than did the current booking procedure. Adjustment of cutoff points on this instrument found that ignoring individual scales and using an overall score was more accurate in detecting mentally ill detainees. Implications for future use of both instruments are discussed.

Copyright

© Alix Meredith McLearen

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Dissertation/Thesis

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