From the psychiatric hospital to the community: integrating conditional release and contingency management.
Psychiatric hospital recidivism has been and continues to be a persistent problem in treating individuals with chronic mental illness. Conditional release, a form of involuntary outpatient commitment, has been suggested as one possible solution. Guided by therapeutic jurisprudence, this article presents a proposal about conditional release that would maximize convergence of social values and would be empirically testable. Specifically, a scientifically validated treatment intervention for individuals with chronic mental illness, contingency management, is integrated with conditional release. From this proposal, a number of empirical hypotheses and legal questions about discharging psychiatric patients are generated and discussed.
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