Mental Health Criminal Justice Diversion

Published September 2019

The Psychiatric Services Editor’s Choice provides essential curated collections from recent issues of Psychiatric Services.  Each month, Editor Lisa Dixon and the Early Career Psychiatrist Advisory Committee offer a curated collection from the rich resource of articles published in the journal. Updates will focus on one area, summarizing for the researcher, clinician, and policy analyst the latest information and seminal research with links to specific content from Psychiatric Services.

An estimated two million individuals with serious mental illness cycle through U.S. jails every year. People with mental illness may experience a delay or interruption in receiving mental health care while in jail or prison and may be better served by community mental health programs. Justice diversion programs provide a critical strategy to limit this population’s involvement in the criminal justice system and shift the focus to improving mental health. This Editor’s Choice collection starts with an article outlining the sequential intercept model, which has served as a nationwide framework for justice diversion. Subsequent articles are organized by intercept points as described in the model. The collection concludes with an article that specifically addresses young adults with first-episode psychosis, because that population may be at high risk of criminal justice involvement.

Please note that not all articles in this curated collection are available without a subscription. For access, learn about subscribing to Psychiatric Services.


Use of the Sequential Intercept Model as an Approach to Decriminalization of People with Serious Mental Illness
Mark R. Munetz, M.D., and Patricia A. Griffin, Ph.D.
2006, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp. 544–549

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Improving Outcomes for Justice-Involved People With Serious Mental Illness and Substance Misuse
Glenda Wrenn, M.D., M.S.H.P., Brian McGregor, Ph.D., Mark Munetz, M.D.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 7, pp. 829–831

Police Responses to Persons With Mental Illness: Going Beyond CIT Training
Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D., and David Morrissette, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
2016, Volume 67, Issue 10, pp. 1054–1056

Specialized Police-Based Mental Health Crisis Response: The First 10 Years of Colorado’s Crisis Intervention Team Implementation
Hari-Mandir K. Khalsa, M.S., Attila C. Denes, M.B.A., Diane M. Pasini-Hill, M.A., Jeffrey C. Santelli, M.S., Ross J. Baldessarini, M.D.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp. 239–241

An Agenda for Advancing Research on Crisis Intervention Teams for Mental Health Emergencies
Amanda Brown Cross, Ph.D., Edward P. Mulvey, Ph.D., Carol A. Schubert, M.P.H., Patricia A. Griffin, Ph.D., Sarah Filone, M.A., Katy Winckworth-Prejsnar, David DeMatteo, J.D., Ph.D., Kirk Heilbrun, Ph.D.
2014, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp. 530–536

Toward Successful Postbooking Diversion: What Are the Next Steps?
Steve Ryan M.D., M.B.A., Chris K. Brown, B.A., Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, Ph.D.
2010, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp. 469–477

Improving the Evaluation of Adult Mental Disorders in the Criminal Justice System With Computerized Adaptive Testing
Robert D. Gibbons, Ph.D., Justin D. Smith, Ph.D., C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D., Mary Sajdak, M.S., Nneka Jones Tapia, Ph.D., Andrew Kulik, M.D., Matthew W. Epperson, Ph.D., John Csernansky, M.D.
2019, Ahead of Print

Arrests Two Years After Exiting a Well-Established Mental Health Court
Virginia A. Hiday, Ph.D., and Bradley Ray, M.A.
2010, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp. 463–468

Implementation of MISSION–Criminal Justice in a Treatment Court: Preliminary Outcomes Among Individuals With Co-occurring Disorders
Debra A. Pinals, M.D., Ayorkor Gaba, Psy.D., Kelsey M. Clary, B.A., John Barber, L.I.C.S.W., Juliana Reiss, Psy.D., David Smelson, Psy.D.
2019, Ahead of Print

Effectiveness of Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Services for Offenders with Mental Disorders: a Review
David A. Scott, Ph.D., Sinead McGilloway, Ph.D., Martin Dempster, Ph.D., Fred Browne, B.Sc., F.R.C.Psych., and Michael Donnelly, Ph.D.
2013, Volume 64, Issue 9, pp. 843–849

Mental Health Court and Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Perceived Coercion, Procedural Justice, and Program Impact
Mark R. Munetz, M.D., Christian Ritter, Ph.D., Jennifer L. S. Teller, Ph.D., and Natalie Bonfine, Ph.D.
2014, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp. 352–358

Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Care Costs of Mental Health Court Participants: A Six-Year Study
Henry J. Steadman, Ph.D., Lisa Callahan, Ph.D., Pamela Clark Robbins, B.A., Roumen Vesselinov, Ph.D., Thomas G. McGuire, Ph.D., and Joseph P. Morrissey, Ph.D.
2014, Volume 65, Issue 9, pp. 1100–1104

Characteristics of Participants in Jail Diversion and Prison Reentry Programs: Implications for Forensic ACT
Gary S. Cuddeback, Ph.D., Diane Wright, M.S.W., and Nikki G. Bisig, M.Ed.
2013, Volume 64, Issue 10, pp. 1043–1046

Comparing Costs of Traditional and Specialty Probation for People With Serious Mental Illness
Jennifer L. Skeem, Ph.D., Lina Montoya, M.A., Sarah M. Manchak, Ph.D.
2018, Volume 69, Issue 8, pp. 896–902

First-Episode Psychosis and the Criminal Justice System: Using a Sequential Intercept Framework to Highlight Risks and Opportunities
Tobias Wasser, M.D., Jessica Pollard, Ph.D., Deborah Fisk, L.C.S.W., Ph.D., Vinod Srihari, M.D.
2017, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp. 994–996

  • Was this Helpful ?
  • YesNo

Join our #MissionForBetter now

Sign up for our newsletter. We’ll let you know about new resources, education, and more.