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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228274 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Courts: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice
Author(s): Lauren Almquist; Elizabeth Dodd
Corporate Author: Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 54
Sponsoring Agency: Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
New York, NY 10005
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Chicago, IL 60603
Grant Number: 05-82376-000-HCD
Sale Source: Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
100 Wall Street
20th Floor
New York, NY 10005
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This guide assists policymakers and practitioners in assessing the usefulness of mental health courts, which aim to reduce the criminal recidivism of mentally ill offenders and increase their participation in effective treatment by combining court supervision with community-based treatment services, usually in lieu of a jail or prison sentence.
Abstract: Research has found that participants in some mental health courts have lower rates of recidivism than individuals with mental illnesses processed through the traditional criminal court system. Some research findings indicate that this trend continues after individuals are no longer under court supervision. Mental health courts have also been found to connect participants with mental health treatment services more effectively than do the traditional court system and jails. In addition, mental health courts have the potential to save money through reduced recidivism and associated savings in jail and court costs. Also, treatment costs are reduced by avoiding expensive inpatient care. Regarding the design and functioning of mental health courts, they are increasingly likely to accept individuals charged with more serious offenses, including felonies and, in some cases, violent offenses. Most of the participants have serious mental illnesses that may be compounded by co-occurring substance-use disorders. The court team typically includes a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, probation/parole officer, and case managers and/or representatives from the mental health system. Mental health courts use incentives and sanctions tailored to the circumstances and needs of each participant. This guide is based on an extensive literature review, consultation with researchers and court practitioners from across the country, and the contributions of an advisory group of leading researchers and practitioners who met in October 2008. 83 notes, a 43-item bibliography, and appended essential elements of a mental health court and areas for further research/outstanding research questions
Main Term(s): Mental Health Courts
Index Term(s): Cost effectiveness analysis; Mentally ill offenders; Offender mental health services; Recidivism; Treatment effectiveness
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