Rearrest and linkage to mental health services among clients of the Clark County mental health court program.
ABSTRACT This study examined rearrest and linkage to mental health services among 368 misdemeanants with severe and persistent mental illness who were served by the Clark County Mental Health Court (MHC). This court, established in April 2000, is based on the concepts of therapeutic jurisprudence. This study addressed the following questions about the effectiveness of the Clark County MHC: Did MHC clients receive more comprehensive mental health services? Did the MHC successfully reduce recidivism? Were there any client or program characteristics associated with recidivism?
A secondary analysis of use of mental health services and jail data for the MHC clients enrolled from April 2000 through April 2003 was conducted. The authors used a 12-month pre-post comparison design to determine whether MHC participants experienced reduced rearrest rates for new offenses, reduced probation violations, and increased mental health services 12 months postenrollment in the MHC compared with 12 months preenrollment.
The overall crime rate for MHC participants was reduced 4.0 times one year postenrollment in the MHC compared with one year preenrollment. One year postenrollment, 54 percent of participants had no arrests, and probation violations were reduced by 62 percent. The most significant factor in determining the success of MHC participants was graduation status from the MHC, with graduates 3.7 times less likely to reoffend compared with nongraduates.
The Clark County MHC successfully reduced rearrest rates for new criminal offenses and probation violations and provided the mental health support services to stabilize mental health consumers in the community.
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ABSTRACT: Mental health court (MHC) research consistently finds that defendants who successfully complete and graduate from the court are less likely to recidivate than those who do not. However, research has not assessed what happens to these noncompleters once they are sent back to traditional court. Using follow-up data on six years of noncompleters from pre-adjudication MHC, we examine what happens to these defendants in traditional court. Findings suggest that 63.7% of defendants' charges were dismissed, 21.0% received probation, and 15.3% were sentenced to incarceration. We examine the time to disposition and differences in defendant characteristics and disposition outcome as well as the relationship between disposition and subsequent recidivism. Results suggest that more severe punishments in traditional court are associated with recidivism. Logistic regression analysis shows that defendants whose charges were dismissed in traditional court were less likely to recidivate than those who were sentenced to probation or incarceration. Our findings highlight the need for future MHC evaluations to consider traditional court outcomes and support trends towards post-adjudication courts. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Behavioral Sciences & the Law 01/2015; · 0.96 Impact Factor
- Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 04/2014; 25(3):321-340. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Based upon therapeutic justice principles, mental health courts use legal leverage to improve access and compliance to treatment for defendants who are mentally ill. Justice-involved women have a higher prevalence of mental illness than men, and it plays a greater role in their criminal behavior. Despite this, studies examining whether women respond differently than men to mental health courts are lacking. Study goals were to examine gender-related differences in mental health court participation, and in criminal justice, psychiatric and health-related outcomes. Methods This study utilized a quasi-experimental pre-posttest design without a control group. The data were abstracted from administrative records of Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse agency, the county jail and both county hospitals, 2008 through 2011. Generalized estimating equation regression was used to assess gender-differences in pre-post program outcomes (jail days, psychiatric and medical hospitalization days, emergency department visits) for the 30 women and 63 men with a final mental health court disposition. Results Program-eligible females were more likely than males to become enrolled in mental health court. Otherwise they were similar on all measured program-participation characteristics: treatment compliance, WRAP participation and graduation rate. All participants showed significant reductions in emergency department visits, but women-completers had significantly steeper drops than males: from 6.7 emergency department visits to 1.3 for women, and from 4.1 to 2.4 for men. A similar gender pattern emerged with medical-hospitalization-days: from 2.2 medical hospital days down to 0.1 for women, and from 0.9 days up to 1.8 for men. While women had fewer psychiatric hospitalization days than men regardless of program involvement (2.5 and 4.6, respectively), both genders experienced fewer days after MHRC compared to before. Women and men showed equal gains from successful program completion in reduced jail days. Conclusions Despite similar participation characteristics, findings point to greater health gains by female compared to male participants, and to lower overall psychiatric acuity. Mental-health-court participation was associated with decreased psychiatric hospitalization days and emergency department visits. Successful program completion correlated to fewer jail days for both women and men.Health & Justice. 12/2014; 2(1).