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Int J Law Psychiatry. 2011 Jul-Aug;34(4):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Matching consequences to behavior: implications of failing to distinguish between noncompliance and nonresponsivity.

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Treatment Research Institute, 600 Public Ledger Building, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA.


Neither punitive nor therapeutic approaches alone are effective at addressing the dual public health and public safety concerns associated with managing criminal behavior perpetrated by people who have psychiatric and substance use disorders. The optimal solution may instead require the integration of both criminal justice supervision and treatment. Using problem-solving courts (PSCs) as a model, we focus on one dimension of this integrated approach, distinguishing between behavior that stems from willful noncompliance with supervision and behavior that results from nonresponsivity to treatment. First, we discuss the public health and public safety consequences of using singular approaches to address the criminal behavior of this population. We then present lessons learned from PSCs that distinguish between noncompliant and nonresponsive behaviors in making treatment and supervision decisions. Finally, we consider how the concepts of nonresponsivity and noncompliance may be extended, via policy, to probation and parole settings as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment services outside the criminal justice setting in order to enhance public health and safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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