Community-Based Alternatives for Justice-Involved Individuals With Severe Mental Illness: Diversion, Problem-Solving Courts, and Reentry

Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 41, Issue 2, March–April 2013, Pages 64-71

8 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last revised: 25 Jun 2020

See all articles by David DeMatteo

David DeMatteo

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

Casey LaDuke

University of Virginia Health System - Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences

Benjamin Locklair

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kirk Heilbrun

Drexel University

Date Written: March-April 2013

Abstract

Purpose: Adults with severe mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, and traditional criminal justice processing has not led to meaningful improvement in recidivism and other relevant outcomes. Fortunately, there has been considerable growth in community-based alternatives to standard prosecution for justice-involved adults with severe mental illness. The purpose of this article is to examine three such community-based alternatives – diversion, problem-solving courts, and reentry into the community – and offer best practice recommendations for developing, implementing, and refining these programs.

Methods: The literature relating to the impetus and rationale for community-based alternatives, an organizing framework for conceptualizing the range of community-based alternatives, and the empirical evidence for community-based alternatives was reviewed.

Results: Existing research on diversion, problem-solving courts, and reentry is generally inconsistent and lacking in uniformity. Although some community-based interventions have a great deal of empirical support, other interventions have received very little research attention.

Conclusions: Research suggests that some community-based alternatives are an effective strategy for adults with severe mental illness, but more empirical research is needed before most community-based interventions can be described as empirically supported.

Keywords: Mental illness, Criminal justice system, Recidivism, Community-based alternatives, Problem-solving courts

Suggested Citation

DeMatteo, David and LaDuke, Casey and Locklair, Benjamin and Heilbrun, Kirk, Community-Based Alternatives for Justice-Involved Individuals With Severe Mental Illness: Diversion, Problem-Solving Courts, and Reentry (March-April 2013). Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 41, Issue 2, March–April 2013, Pages 64-71, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3606689

David DeMatteo (Contact Author)

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law ( email )

3320 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Casey LaDuke

University of Virginia Health System - Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences ( email )

VA
United States

Benjamin Locklair

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kirk Heilbrun

Drexel University ( email )

3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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