Analysis of Participation Levels in Activity Programming at a Correctional Mental Health Facility


  • Emily Messina Eastern Washington University
  • Yoshitaka Iwasaki University of Alberta


Participation, programming, activity, mental health, psychiatric, corrections


This paper examines factors of participation in activity programming, presenting the results of a secondary data analysis of resident records at a state-run forensic mental health treatment facility. Factors contributing to participation as well as characteristics of those with high participation means were examined within both a voluntary referralbased activity program and a mandatory structured activity program. The results suggest that, despite many differences between the samples of residents receiving the two programs, there were specific characteristics more common among those with higher participation means, such as a higher sum of activity hours per month, a higher mean sum of hours in each activity type per month, and a decreased length of stay (LOS). The results also demonstrated a therapeutic value to the activity programs offered, regardless of the voluntary or mandatory nature of the program.

Author Biographies

Emily Messina, Eastern Washington University

Dr. Emily Messina is an Assistant Professor and Therapeutic Recreation Program Director at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA.

Yoshitaka Iwasaki, University of Alberta

Dr. Yoshitaka (Yoshi) Iwasaki is the Director of the Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families (CUP) and Professor in the Faculty of Extension at University of Alberta.