In 1999, legislation was passed to better identify and provide additional mental health treatment for mentally ill offenders who were released from prison, who pose a threat to public safety, and agree to participate in the program. A “Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender” (DMIO) is defined by the legislation as a person with a mental disorder who has been determined to be dangerous to self or others.
As part of its legislative mandate, the Institute has published a series of reports that evaluate the DMIO program. Reports published in 2005, 2007, and 2008 demonstrated that the DMIO program significantly reduced felony recidivism, and this 2009 follow-up report finds that reductions in felony recidivism were sustained at the 4-year mark. The benefit-cost analysis in this report indicates that the reductions in DMIO recidivism generated greater financial benefits than program costs—a ratio of approximately $1.64 in benefits for every public dollar spent.