Back to top

Policy Research Associates Inc. (Delmar NY)

New York’s Better Living Center (BLC) (in Queens) is highlighted. “Regardless of an individual's reason for not seeking mental health treatment, their risk of recidivism increases greatly without the appropriate treatment. The Fortune Society’s innovative approach to addressing the problem of criminal justice-involved clients with mental illness not engaging in treatment was to create the Better Living Center” (p. 1). The Fortune society provides recently released inmate with a “one-stop model” that allows the individual to make a smooth transition from incarceration back into the community. This article describes the program’s development, implementation, funding, four critical keys to success, and future directions.

An Innovative Program Cover

The opportunity for diverting offenders with mental illness and substance abuse disorders from the criminal justice system when they have their first appearance in a municipal court is explained. Sections of this publication include: introduction; Sequential Intercept Model (SIM); municipal courts—definition and caseloads; municipal courts as a venue for diversion of people with mental and substance use disorders; challenges to the use of municipal courts for diversion—case volume, time constraints and lack of leverage, and the mature of municipal courts; what the essential elements for effective diversion are—identification and screening, court-based clinician as the boundary spanner-linkage component, recovery-based engagement strategies, and proportional response; a municipal court achieving effective diversion—Seattle Municipal Mental Health Court; a municipal court achieving effective diversion—Midtown Community Court in New York City; a municipal court achieving effective diversion—Misdemeanor Arraignment Diversion Project in New York City; and summary. "Municipal courts that implement these four essential elements—Identification and Screening, Court-Based Clinician, Recovery-Based Engagement, and Proportional Response—are in the position to minimize the criminal justice system involvement and reduce unnecessary incarceration of people with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders as well as facilitate engagement or re-engagement in mental health and substance use disorder services" (p. 12).

Municipal Courts: An Effective Tool for Diverting People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders from the Criminal Justice System cover

"This monograph examines a wide range of evidence-based practices for screening and assessment of people in the justice system who have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (CODs). Use of evidence-based approaches for screening and assessment is likely to result in more accurate matching of offenders to treatment services and more effective treatment and supervision outcomes … Key systemic and clinical challenges are discussed, as well as state-of-the art approaches for conducting screening and assessment. The monograph also reviews a range of selected instruments for screening, assessment, and diagnosis of CODs in justice settings and provides a critical analysis of advantages, concerns, and practical implementation issues (e.g., cost, availability, training needs) for each instrument" (p. 1). Two parts follow an executive summary. Part I-- Key Issues in Screening and Assessment of Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System: prevalence and significance of co-occurring disorders in the justice system; defining co-occurring disorders; importance of screening and assessment; opportunities for screening and assessment; defining screening and assessment; developing a comprehensive screening and assessment approach; key information to address in screening and assessment for co-occurring disorders; enhancing the accuracy of information in screening and assessment; and special clinical issues. Part II—Instruments for Screening and Assessing Co-occurring disorders: key issues in selection; comparing screening instruments; recommended instruments for assessment and diagnosis of co-occurring disorders—screening instruments for substance use, screening instruments for mental disorders, screening instruments for co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, screening and assessment instruments for suicide risk, screening and diagnostic instruments for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), screening instruments for motivation and readiness for treatment, assessment instruments for substance use and treatment matching approaches, assessment instruments for mental disorders, and assessment and diagnostic instruments for co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

Screening and Assessment of Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System Cover

“This webinar provides an overview of evidence-based and efficient methods of screening and assessment to identify youth in need of trauma-informed services or trauma-specific treatment in juvenile diversion programs. Evidence-based or evidence-informed trauma-specific treatments to which youth diverted from the juvenile justice system can be referred are discussed.”

Trauma-Informed Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Systems: Why We Need Them, How to Move Forward Toward Them Cover
Subscribe to Policy Research Associates Inc. (Delmar NY)