Estimating the Impact of Mental Illness on Costs of Crimes: A Matched Samples Comparison

Michael Ostermann, Jason Matejkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study uses a propensity scoring and matching approach to compare the costs of crimes committed by former inmates with mental illness (MI) and without MI. Our findings indicate that the recidivism costs of those with MI over the course of 3 years of follow-up are nearly 3 times as large as similar reintegrating former inmates without MI. However, prior to matching on mental health indicators, the costs of the reoffense patterns of the average reintegrating individual with MI are less than half those of the average former prisoner without MI. Our discussion centers on the identification of relevant groups that corrections officials should focus their rehabilitative resources on and whether those with MI should be a group they focus on during this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-40
Number of pages21
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


  • corrections
  • costs of crime
  • rearrest
  • recidivism
  • reentry
  • reintegration


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