Conditional Release Program (CONREP)

Program Overview

CONREP - DSH’s Conditional Release Program - is a statewide system of community based services which treats patients with the following commitment types: Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, Incompetent to Stand Trial, Mentally Disordered Offenders, and some parolees who have been released to outpatient status.

CONREP was mandated as a state responsibility in 1984, and began operating in 1986. Its patients have typically experienced lengthy hospital stays and in some cases served full prison sentences.

The goal of CONREP is to ensure public protection in California communities while providing an effective and standardized outpatient treatment system.

What Services Does CONREP Provide?

Most patients in the CONREP program have gotten there after a lengthy stay in a state hospital. Once psychiatric symptoms have been stabilized and the patients are considered no longer to be a danger, the state hospital medical director recommends eligible inpatients to the courts for outpatient treatment under CONREP.

Individuals must agree to follow a treatment plan designed by the outpatient supervisor and approved by the committing court. The court-approved treatment plan includes provisions for involuntary outpatient services.

In order to protect the public, individuals who do not comply with treatment may be returned to a state hospital. 

CONREP patients receive an intensive regimen of treatment and supervision that includes individual and group contact with clinical staff, random drug screenings, home visits, substance abuse screenings and psychological assessments. The Department has performance standards for these services which set minimum treatment and supervision levels for patients in the program. Each patient is evaluated and assessed while they are in the state hospital, upon entry into the community, and throughout their CONREP treatment.

What is the need for this Service System?

Research indicates that patients released without outpatient services are more likely to have a criminal offense in the next two years and end up back in a state hospital. However, patients who participated in CONREP during the last five years had a rate for reoffending of 2 percent. CONREP patients also demonstrate significant improvements in employment, social support and independence after one year in the program.

How is the CONREP Program Administered?

The state budget provides 100 percent of the funding for CONREP's intensive level of assessment, treatment and supervision. The Department contracts with county mental health programs and private agencies to provide services.