“’What works’ for justice-involved people with mental illness”
Abstract: Each year, over 2 million people with serious mental illness are booked into U.S. jails. These people typically stay longer in jail than those without mental illness—and, upon release, are more likely to be reincarcerated. Today, over 300 counties have resolved to “step up” their efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jail. In this presentation, I highlight research on “what works” to reduce re-offending among justice-involved people with mental illness. Programs must avoid the traditional assumption that mental illness is the direct cause of the problem, and linkage with psychiatric services is the solution. Evidence-based, cost-effective programs look beyond psychiatric explanations to address robust risk factors that are shared by people with- and without mental illness.