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Int J Forensic Ment Health. 2014 Jan;13(1):62-74.

Transitioning into the Community: Outcomes of a Pilot Housing Program for Forensic Patients.

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School of Psychology and Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.
Community Support and Research Unit, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada.
John Howard Society of Waterloo-Wellington, Kitchener, Canada.


The Transitional Rehabilitation Housing Pilot (TRHP) was designed to transition hospitalized forensic patients to the community. Twenty clients and their clinicians in two Ontario cities completed measures on functioning, substance use, recovery, social support, and quality of life at admission to the program and then every 6 months until 18 months post-admission. Clients also responded to open-ended questions on the impact of the program and living in the community on their recovery. Three (15%) clients re-offended. Eleven clients (55%) experienced rehospitalization; however, brief rehospitalization was seen as part of the recovery process. Level of community functioning was stable across time and 35% of clients had a decrease in the restrictiveness of their disposition order. Clients described numerous characteristics of community living that contributed to improvements in functioning, such as integration into the community, social contact, and newfound independence. Some aspects of TRHP that encouraged recovery included developing new skills and knowledge, staff support, and the programming that engaged clients in treatment and recovery-oriented activities. Findings suggest that forensic patients can transition successfully into the community with appropriate support and housing.


community-based rehabilitation; mental illness; offender rehabilitation; program evaluation; reintegration

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