269969 Designing More Effective Mental Health Courts

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Lisa Callahan, PhD , Policy Research Associates, Inc., Delmar, NY
Henry Steadman, PhD , Policy Research Associates, Inc., Delmar, NY
We find in the MacArthur Mental Health Court Study that public safety outcomes improve among mental health court participants when compared a “treatment as usual” (TAU) comparison sample. We also find that MHCs receive significantly more community treatment than the TAU sample. When comparing the criminal justice and mental health costs, we find that there is not as much benefit as we anticipated. We compare 3 years before and 3 years after entry into MHC with a comparable time period for TAUs and find an overall increase in combined costs for MHC participants with a notable cost shift from criminal justice to treatment costs. The increase, however, is not evenly distributed across the MHC sample. Higher user subsamples driving much of the observed pooled cost increase with 19%-40% of MHC enrollees actually having reduced costs after enrollment. The implications of these high user subgroups are discussed in terms of the impact on MHC design, enrollments, and procedures.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify factors associated with mental health court costs. 2. Compare outcomes of participant subgroups in mental health courts. 3. Discuss policy implications of costs for mental health courts.

Keywords: Criminal Justice, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the project director the the MacArthur Mental Health Court studies, directed the analysis, and have co-authored numerous articles from this research.
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.