221322 Mental health courts as jail diversion

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Albert Grudzinskas Jr. , Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, MA
These presentations are based on a prospective, longitudinal, quasi-experimental four-site study that compares behavioral health and public safety outcomes for 447 mental health court participants with 600 “treatment as usual” jail detainees. It is the first study with multiple sites and both experimental (MHC) and comparison (TAU) samples. Subjects in both samples have serious mental illness, but the TAU sample did not enter the MHC. The sites are San Francisco County, Santa Clara County, Hennepin County, MN, and Marion County, IN., and represent a wide range of types of mental health courts in operation today in the U.S. The sites were selected because they are large enough to have a substantial caseload from which to draw a sample, in operation long enough to have stability, and represent a range of types of courts from level of sanctioning to types of defendants such as both misdemeanor and felony cases. In addition, the courts had to be in jurisdictions with large county jails to ensure sufficient sampling for the TAU group. Subjects were referred to the research team by either the mental health court staff or the jail mental health staff. Subjects were interviewed at baseline/study enrollment and again at six months (70%). Objective outcome data were also obtained on all subjects.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the role of the experimental and treatment as usual samples in this study. 2. Describe the importance of a multi-site, longitudinal study in assessing the outcomes of mental health courts.

Keywords: Criminal Justice, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Clinial Associate Professor of Psychiatry and the Coordinator for Legal Studies, Law, & Psychiatry at the UMassMed Center.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.