Mental Health

Publications

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

By Warren A. Reich, Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Virginia Barber Rioja and Merrill Rotter

This study examines the validity of the COMPAS with offenders who have a serious mental illness. A widely used risk-needs assessment tool, the COMPAS was found to be a good predictor of re-arrest with this population, although it was more effective in distinguishing low-risk offenders from all others than in identifying those who pose a medium as opposed to a high risk of re-arrest. Overall, approximately two-thirds of study-participants were classified as low risk. At the same time, more than half of the sample scored in the high range on the important needs domains of substance abuse, criminal personality, and criminal thinking. The study discusses potential implications for using the COMPAS with mentally-ill individuals.

Audio

Jails as Psychiatric Facilities: Addressing Mental Illness in the Justice System with Judge Steve Leifman

Jails as Psychiatric Facilities: Addressing Mental Illness in the Justice System with Judge Steve Leifman

Judge Steve Leifman, associate administrative judge of the Miami-Dade County Court Criminal Division and presiding judge of its Criminal Mental Health Project, has worked at the intersection of mental health and the criminal justice system in Miami-Date County for decades. In this podcast, he outlines the challenges of addressing the high occurence of mental illness in Miami's courts and prisons, the fraught history of incarcerating those with mental health needs, and ways in which the justice system can change its response to those living with mental illness.

Publications

New York State Mental Health Courts: A Policy Study

New York State Mental Health Courts: A Policy Study

By Josephine W. Hahn

This report summarizes the findings of a statewide policy survey of New York’s adult mental health courts. The report identifies key needs such as the use of validated assessments and high demand for staff training, and the challenges of limited treatment options and housing shortages. Statewide strengths cited by practitioners include their individualized approach and highly collaborative court teams.

Publications

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

By Raphael Pope-Sussman

This fact sheet explores strategies that jurisdictions around the United States are using to deal with the issue of homelessness. Whether led by law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, or the courts, these approaches seek to address underlying causes and provide the practical support homeless offenders need to stabilize their lives. For each strategy described in this fact sheet, we have also included a case study. 

Interviews

'A Social Worker With a Robe': Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court

'A Social Worker With a Robe': Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court

In this podcast recorded at the Courts, Community Engagement, and Innovative Practices in a Changing Landscape symposium held in Anaheim in December 2015, Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court discusses his work in Orange County and how community justice can change lives.

Articles

Mental Health Screening Outcomes Among Justice-Involved Youths Under Community Supervision

Mental Health Screening Outcomes Among Justice-Involved Youths Under Community Supervision

By Warren A. Reich

In this study 812 youths arraigned on juvenile delinquency charges in New York City and placed under community supervision were screened for mental health disorders. Forty-eight percent of boys and 62% of girls flagged for possible mental health problems. The most frequently appearing flags, for mania and posttraumatic stress disorder, were comorbid with most other disorders. While youths who flagged on major depression, anxiety, or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder were at higher risk for re-arrest, those who flagged for separation anxiety or suicidal ideation were actually less likely to be re-arrested. Published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation and available here.

Articles

Predictors of Mental Health Court Program Compliance and Rearrest in Brooklyn, New York

Predictors of Mental Health Court Program Compliance and Rearrest in Brooklyn, New York

By Warren A. Reich, Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Lenore Lebron and Josephine W. Hahn

In this article, mental health court graduation, in-program jail sanctions, and rearrest were tracked for 654 participants in the Brooklyn Mental Health Court. In general, risk factors for negative outcomes included a prior history of arrest or incarceration, having current property charges, current unemployment, homelessness at time of intake, and having a co-occurring substance use disorder. Published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation and available here

 

Publications

Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

In order to address the high prevalence of children’s exposure to violence, in 2010, eight sites around the country were selected by the U.S. Department of Justice for the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program. This national initiative aims: 1) to prevent children’s exposure to violence; 2) to mitigate the negative impact of such exposure when it does occur; and 3) to develop knowledge and spread awareness about children’s exposure to violence, both within and beyond the chosen pilot sites. The eight demonstration sites are:

Listen to an interview with the Researchers

Listen to an interview with the Cuyahoga County Defending Childhood Initiative team

Listen to an Interview with members of the Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative team

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Publications

Through the NOVA Door: A Process Evaluation of Shelby County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

Through the NOVA Door: A Process Evaluation of Shelby County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Elise Jensen and Rachel Swaner

The Shelby County Defending Childhood Initiative, known as the Network for Overcoming Violence and Abuse (NOVA), used a place-based approach to target children and families exposed to violence in three apartment complexes in the Frayser and Hickory Hill neighborhoods of Memphis. The initiative placed staff in apartment complexes to conduct outreach to children and families in need, and, through case management and advocacy, to refer families to necessary services for therapeutic treatment. Other project components included community awareness campaigns, professional training on topics such as children’s exposure to violence and data confidentiality, and the creation of a shared data management system. (April 2015)

Publications

Nawicakiciji – Woasniye – Oaye Waste: A Process Evaluation of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Defending Childhood Initiative

Nawicakiciji – Woasniye – Oaye Waste: A Process Evaluation of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Rachel Swaner

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Defending Childhood Initiative incorporated the Lakota way of life in all of its programming and approaches and viewed bringing back Lakota culture as a form of prevention work. The Rosebud DCI model focused heavily on providing case management services for children who have been exposed to violence. Staff facilitated traditional healing ceremonies and made referrals to culturally appropriate treatment, as well provided court- and school-based advocacy. Additionally, the initiative focused on bringing awareness about children’s exposure to violence and available resources to the different communities and schools on the reservation. Finally, staff worked to revise tribal legislation and policy to be more responsive to children’s exposure to violence. (April 2015)

Publications

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

Love One Another and Take Care of Each Other: A Process Evaluation of the Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub

Rocky Boy’s Children Exposed to Violence Project was informed by a commitment to culture as prevention—reconnecting youth and families with the Chippewa Cree language, culture, and traditions. The primary components of the initiative were advocacy and case management for children and families coping with exposure to violence; crisis intervention services; treatment referrals; traditional healing ceremonies; and community awareness and education activities. (April 2015)

Publications

Tackling Urban Inequalities: A Process Evaluation of the Boston Defending Childhood Initiative

Tackling Urban Inequalities: A Process Evaluation of the Boston Defending Childhood Initiative

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub

The Boston Defending Childhood Initiative centralized the importance of racial/social justice and health equity during planning and implementation in nearly every approach for addressing children’s exposure to violence. Specific strategies included funding community health centers to provide treatment for children exposed to violence; funding local community organizations to implement family nurturing programs; creating a youth-led and produced web series to raise awareness about violence; and engaging professionals (e.g., through “learning communities”) in long-term training on topics related to trauma-informed care and evidence-based therapeutic interventions. (April 2015)

Publications

Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Process Evaluation of Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative

Building a Safer Tomorrow: A Process Evaluation of Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative

By Elise Jensen

Safer Tomorrows, the Grand Forks Defending Childhood Initiative, was unique in its implementation of universal prevention programming in Grand Forks County schools, extending to all students (pre-kindergarten through high school) in public, private, and rural schools. The programs addressed multiple forms of violence (e.g., bullying, dating violence); strategies for preventing violence; fostering healthy positive relationships with others; and improving personal social-emotional health. Other components of Safer Tomorrows included trauma-informed treatment for children exposed to violence; community awareness strategies tailored to the local sports culture; and training of professionals on topics related to children’s exposure to violence and trauma. (April 2015)

Listen to an interview with Kari Kerr and Kristi Hall-Jiran

Publications

“We Have the Power to Stop the Violence”: A Process Evaluation of Cuyahoga County’s Defending Childhood Initiative

By Rachel Swaner

The Cuyahoga County Defending Childhood Initiative was unique in the creation of a fully integrated, county-wide screening, assessment, and service system for children ages 0-18 who have been exposed to violence and are experiencing trauma symptoms. Smaller initiative components included two targeted prevention programs in high-risk neighborhoods; community awareness and education campaigns; and professional training activities. (April 2015)

Listen to an interview with Jill Smialek and Dr. Jeff Kretschmar

Contact
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