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Evaluation of a Mental Health Treatment Court with Assertive Community Treatment

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Evaluation of a Mental Health Treatment Court with Assertive Community Treatment

1. This article studied the effect of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) versus Treatment as Usual (TAU) on the life satisfaction ratings, psychological distress, level of functioning, substance use issues, and criminal activity of mentally ill residents of the Santa Barbara County Jail. The study administered four instruments to measure these variables. They used the Behavioral and Symptom Identification scale, the Lehman Quality of Life Scale, the Addiction Severity Index and the Global Assessment of Functioning to measure the effects of treatment. They also viewed arrest records to obtain criminal activity information.

2. A true experimental design was used. Participants who met the criteria for the study where randomly assigned to a control group, which received Treatment as Usual and a treatment group that was provided Assertive Community Treatment. Assessments were given at the start of the program, in six-month intervals, and then at the end of the program. This indicates a time trial type of method, but a pre-test and post-test were conducted.

3. Repeat offenders in the county jail who had been diagnosed with mental illnesses where the population studied.

4. The study indicated that inmates who received ACT and TAU both showed improvement in all areas studied. They found however, that participants in the ACT group reported higher levels of success in reducing drug problems and gaining independent living skills. This would help me in my profession, as I may be able to work in a jail and help repeat offenders become more independent and have fewer drug problems by providing them with Assertive Community Treatment.

Effectiveness of Brief Counseling in Reducing HIV Risk Behavior in Injecting Drug Users...

1. This article studied the effect of Brief Counseling on the risk behavior of injection drug users entering heroin detoxification treatment. Participants were recruited based on counselor availability, were given a pre-test, randomly assigned to receive either a 50-minute counseling or a packet of educational brochures. A post-test was then administered after three months to see if the individuals had participated in less HIV risk behavior. HIV risk behavior was measured using a questionnaire at pretest and again at subsequent



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