Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)


Patrick R. Webb


criminal recidivism, technical recidivism, successful rehabilitation, mental illness


Law | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Offenders with severe mental illness (SMI) found a place within the criminal justice system (CJS) with its most crucial objectives including the reduction of recidivism among discharged offenders and their safe reintegration into a free community as rehabilitated offenders. Beyond the monetary costs of recidivism, the continued potential for criminality among offenders with mental illness (OMI) added enormous costs to all law-abiding citizens and their respective communities. However, no study was found in the literature that attempted to investigate the relationship between recidivism and the successful rehabilitation of patients with mental illness. Those found involved offenders without mental illness and non-offending hospitalized psychiatric patients. The study primarily aimed to define the relationship between recidivism and rehabilitation outcomes (successful or unsuccessful) for patients with mental illness. It approached the investigation through a theoretical framework of the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Model. The study used an analytical retrospective cross-sectional design with data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) with a base release date in 2016 and 2017. The sample population consisted of three groups: a test group (OMIS upon release and later committed a crime), a positive control (OMIS upon release and later re-imprisoned for noncriminal parole violations), and a negative control group (offenders without mental illness upon discharge who later committed a crime). Descriptive analysis used relative frequency and standard deviation, while quantitative analysis used binary logistic regression.