This dissertation explores the lives of women who are on the Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) caseload at Maricopa County Adult Probation in Arizona (The Phoenix metro region). The project focuses on three primary issues: (1) what are the pathways to the criminal justice and mental health systems for women on the SMI caseload (2) how does discretion and expansive formal social control (both benevolent and coercive) impact the lives of these women on the SMI caseload and (3) what are the gendered aspects to successful completion of SMI probation. To answer these questions a mixed-methods research design was employed. First, in-depth semi-structured interviews were completed with 65 women on the SMI caseload. Second, these interviews were supplemented with a case file review of each participant, and field observations (encompassing roughly 100 hours) were conducted at the Maricopa County Mental Health Court. Third, analysis also included 5.5 years of quantitative intake data from the SMI caseload, exploring demographic information and risk and assessment needs scores. The biographies of the women on the SMI caseload revealed similar histories of victimization, substance abuse, and relationship difficulty that previous pathways research has noted. Additionally, mental health problems directly impacted the path to the criminal justice system for some women on the SMI caseload. Results also showed many aspects of expanded social control for women on the SMI caseload. This expanded control appeared to be gendered at times and often created double binds for women. Finally, quantitative analysis showed that some predictive factors of SMI probation completion were gendered. Policy implications and summaries of findings are discussed.