Criminal Justice / Mental Health Interface


A CRY FOR HELP:  An Inspiring Manual for Psychiatrists and other Collaborators

This is an extensive and highly informative report recently issued by the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry. Lots of useful information and resources here.  A great starting point for this area. 


Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses: The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement-Based Program

This report from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) identifies 10 key components that successful law enforcement initiatives employ to provide better outcomes in officers' encounters with individuals who have mental illnesses. This report also explains how the elements can help guide individuals who are interested in developing or improving specialized law enforcement-based programs.

Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project 

This is a very long (> 400 pages) but extremely useful document which provides a "blueprint" for what states and local governments should be striving for on all major aspects of the mental health / criminal justice interface. 

State of Iowa Systematic Study for the State Correctional System

2007 report that defines what is working, what needs improvement and a vision for the future.

The Essential Elements of a Mental Health Court

A recent (2007) publication from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, that provides a thorough and coherent explanation of mental health courts.  Very useful. 

Mental Health Screens for Corrections

A recent report describing progress in the use of screening instruments for mental health

Criminal Justice/ Mental Health Consensus Project Newsletters

A monthly update from the above project, with lots of current, useful information

Overview of the Mental Health Services System for Criminal Justice Professionals

A nice, readable review recently done jointly by the GAINS center and the TAPA jail diversion center

Brief Jail Mental Health Screen

The GAINS EBP Center, with funding from the National Institute of Justice, has developed a new mental health screening tool for jails. It appears to have good reliability and validity, and takes less than 3 minutes to administer.

National GAINS Evidence-Based Practice Center for Persons in the Justice System

The new Center has issued the first in a series of "Notes to the Field". Issue 1 discusses the important of state-level planning and the integration of mental health and criminal justice systems. (for the National GAINS website see below)

Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence

A public-academic liaison to facilitate coordination between criminal justice and mental health issues within the state of Ohio.  A good model for other states. 

Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Act of 2004

S. 1194, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by unanimous vote on Wednesday, October 6.  The bill authorizes federal grants for collaborative efforts between criminal justice and mental health agencies at the state and local level to improve the response to people with mental illness in the criminal justice system. A broad range of initiatives would be eligible for funding, including improved training for law enforcement, diversion programs, mental health courts, and enhanced transition planning for offenders upon reentry.

"How the Justice System Criminalizes Mental Illness"

Interesting editorial from the New York Times, December 13, 2004

Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System: Redirecting Resources Toward Treatment, Not Containment

An interesting and informative recent resource document from the American Psychiatric Association - readable, relatively brief and to the point, suggesting much needed and far reaching changes. 

Jail Diversion

What is jail diversion?

Describes jail diversion programs.

Mental Health Courts

Role of Mental Health Courts in System Reform

Examines the use of mental health courts in the US.

Survey of Mental Health Courts

Survey report 2008.


Community Re-entry

The APIC model

This 2002 report from the National GAINS Center describes a "best practice" re-entry program for offenders with mental illness and substance abuse

Other Related Links

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

National GAINS Center

Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC)

TAPA Center for Jail Diversion

Criminal Justice/Mental Health Information Network