skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 216152     Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Screens for Corrections
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): Julian Ford ; Robert L. Trestman ; Fred Osher ; Jack E. Scott ; Henry J. Steadman ; Pamela Clark Robbins
Date Published: 05/2007
Page Count: 24
  Annotation: This paper reports on the findings and implications of two research projects that developed and validated mental health screening instruments that corrections staff can use during intake.
Abstract: The researchers created short questionnaires that have accurately identified inmates who required mental health interventions. One mental health screening instrument, the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS), was proven effective for men and is being adapted for women. The other screening instrument, the Correctional Mental Health Screen (CMHS), has versions that are effective for identifying mental disorders for both men and women. The CMHS for women and the CMHS for men were developed by first presenting to study participants a 25-minute composite of all the questions (n=53) from 4 separate existing screening instruments. Study participants were 2,196 adults detained in 5 Connecticut jails. Approximately 20 percent of the participants were randomly selected to come back 1-5 days later for a lengthier clinical assessment. Statistical analysis was performed separately by gender in order to determine the questions with the most statistical sensitivity, specificity, and predictive power in measuring nine clusters of mental health disorders. These included current depressive disorders, current anxiety disorders, antisocial personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Further statistical analysis reduced the instruments to 38 items for women and 40 items for men. The final analysis reduced the instruments to 8 items for women and 12 items for men, each of which take 3-5 minutes to administer. These final versions were validated on an additional group of 206 participants. The BJMHS was directly derived from the Referral Decision Scale (RDS), which was designed to detect signs and symptoms of severe impairment stemming from serious mental health disorders. The number of RDS items was reduced from the original 14 to 8 items by eliminating those items that had questionable validity. 20 notes and appended instruments
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Mentally ill offenders ; Diagnostic and reception processing ; Psychological evaluation ; Mentally ill inmates ; Instrument validation
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2000-IJ-CX-0044;2001-IJ-CX-0030
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

Wyoming Dept of Probation and Parole
Board of Parole
1710 Pacific Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Test/Measurement
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: NIJ Research for Practice, May 2007; downloaded June 26, 2007.
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.