Performance Improvement 2004. Evaluation of Pre- and Post-Booking Diversion Programs


This study examined nine established SAMHSA-funded state jail diversion programs serving individuals with co-occurring disorders in the criminal justice system. The program seeks new knowledge on improving prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness and effectively applying that knowledge through work with state and local governments, providers, families and consumers. Research Triangle Institute coordinated the research; the National GAINS Center provided technical assistance to participating programs. Research staff interviewed diverted and non-diverted individuals (1,966 interviewees at the start; declining to 1,497 at three months and 1,353 at one year) using a national committee-developed interview protocol. Major findings included: (1) diverted individuals spent less time either hospitalized or incarcerated than did non-diverted subjects in the first year after contact/arrest; (2) both groups reported similar rates of re-arrest during the following year; (3) diverted individuals received significantly more mental health treatment than the non-diverted; and (4) both groups had fewer mental health symptoms over time. Four of the sites participated in a year long jail diversion cost study which addressed the cost differences of jail diversion programs for the average participant versus costs under traditional criminal justice processes. The diverted groups incurred higher community-based treatment costs and the non-diverted groups incurred higher jail costs, resulting in no difference overall in costs in two of the sites, the cost of diversion significantly higher in one site and lower in another.

PIC ID: 7720
Agency Sponsor: SAMHSA-CMHS, Center for Mental Health Services
Federal Contact: Salasin, Susan, 240-276-1908
Performer: Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC

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