This study estimated prevalence rates of serious mental illness among adult male and female inmates in five jails.
Steadman et al. conducted this study over four years in five different jails in order to estimate the rate of mental illness among male and female inmates. The authors utilized the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV to identify current prevalence of mental illness and found prevalence rates of current serious mental illness for recently booked jail inmates were 14.5% for men and 31.0% for women. They explain that part of the reason for the rise in rates of mental illness for this population has to do with limited access to community behavioral health services and suggest that the numbers from their study can be used by administrators for future program planning and for decision-making about how to best allocate resources to meet the needs of this under-served population.