Inmates with mental health and co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders present difficult challenges for correctional institutions and treatment providers. The complex nature of co-occurring disorders further exacerbates these difficulties and is associated with poor treatment compliance and increased likelihood of engaging in institutional misconduct. The current study examines whether exposure to prison-based treatment reduces involvement in prison misconduct among a sample of female prison inmates controlling for disorder types (i.e. mental health disorder only, substance use disorder only, and co-occurring mental and substance use disorders). Findings revealed that with exposure of more than 181 days of treatment, the odds of misconduct involvement among females with co-occurring disorders more than doubled compared to receiving no treatment. This finding is at odds with treatment retention literature that suggests that a minimum period of time in treatment is needed to affect post-treatment success. Possible explanations for these findings and policy implications are discussed.
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