Date Presented

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type





As the American criminal justice system moves towards rehabilitation over punishment it is important to see if rehabilitation of mental illness reduces recidivism rates on a large scale. As established by previous research (Gonzalez & Connell, 2014; see also, Osher, et al, 2003), people with mental health issues are notoriously ignored or not provided the proper treatment during incarceration and it is necessary to examine this connection so new policies can be implemented to help incarcerated Americans. By reducing recidivism the amount of people incarcerated is lowered, because most people incarcerated are repeat offenders (Bureau of Justice Statistics), saving America millions of dollars most of which come from American taxpayers. However, to enact the changes needed in the incarceration system we will need the support of the American people. This study aims to measure how willing people are to work with, socialize, and interact with treated offenders versus untreated offenders. It was hypothesized that people will be more willing to associate with individuals who received treatment and that individuals who received treatment will have a perceived more successful reentry to society. A hypothetical prisoner with mental illness was perceived more positively when he was described as receiving treatment than when he did not have a mental illness at all and those who received no treatment, supporting the hypothesis that Americans are more willing to associate with treated offenders than not.