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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221692 Find in a Library
Title: Jail Diversion: Addressing the Needs of Offenders with Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:45  Issue:1/2  Dated:2007  Pages:19-31
Author(s): Scott Mire; Craig J. Forsyth; Robert Hanser
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The intent of this paper is to illuminate three critical components related to offenders with mental illness and co-occurring disorders that may serve to enhance success rates among jail diversion programs.
Abstract: The concept of jail diversion and its implementation has evolved quickly in recent years. Currently, the literature suggests that the stage of jail diversion programs most in need of scrutiny is the point at which the offender is diagnosed as suffering from mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders. The stages prior to diagnoses are mostly settled. Further assessment beyond mental illness/co-occurring disorders is necessary. Specifically, there is a need to assess the offender’s openness/resistance to treatment. This is a critical decision point that drives future actions and placement of the offender. Not assessing this construct allows chance to immediately enter the equation negatively impacting program results. The next decision point is the appropriate matching of offenders with available mental health services. There is the need to ensure that the therapeutic alliance has been established and that it continues to flourish throughout the duration of provided services. Finally, there is the need to ensure that a quality mental health service is being provided. This is primarily accomplished through the intense oversight of knowledgeable and informed caseworkers. The purpose of this paper is to highlight three critical components, noted above, related to the success of jail diversion programs: (1) offenders must be psychometrically assessed for resistance to treatment; (2) there must be a proper match between offender and service provider; and (3) quality mental health services must include treatment specialists who are routinely involved from intake all the way through program completion. References
Main Term(s): Diversion programs
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Inmate Programs; Inmate treatment; Jails; Mental health services; Mentally ill inmates; Mentally ill offenders; Treatment; Treatment effectiveness; Treatment techniques
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