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Expanding Mental Health Diversion Opportunities: A Prospective Evaluation of the Los Angeles County Intake Booking Diversion Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $1,000,000)

This proposal seeks to assess the use and impact of an Intake Booking Diversion program (IBD) for individuals presenting with mental illness. This new program is an expansion of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s (LASD) Mental Evaluation Team co-responder model. It builds upon LASD’s 25 years of collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to divert individuals with mental illness away from jail and towards treatment. Additionally, this program promotes the safety of patrol and corrections officers. The applicant will partner with LASD to conduct a prospective, quasi-experimental evaluation of the IBD. The proposed study will involve two overlapping components: (1) a formative process evaluation, and (2) an impact evaluation. The process evaluation will involve up to 50 stakeholder and staff interviews, focus groups with assistant deputies from patrol divisions, and program observations. These activities will serve to document the successes and challenges of early IBD program development and implementation. Interview, observation and focus group data will be analyzed to identify patterns across respondent type, observational situation or interview domain. For the impact evaluation, the applicant will collect and analyze booking, treatment, and recidivism data provided by LASD. The impact evaluation will include case-level analysis of 400 individuals booked through IBD, and 400 booked through comparison station houses, for a total sample size of 800. The analytic plan includes bivariate and multivariate approaches to examine: (1) whether the IBD program improves early identification of arrestees with mental illness; (2) whether diversion through IBD increases treatment engagement or reduces recidivism and future calls for service associated with mental health crises; and (3) whether the IBD program improves safety for LASD deputies in the field or jail facility. "Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 21, 2019