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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
Competitive Discretionary
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 development and implementation of the 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 (MET) 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 formative process evaluation of the IBD program. The process evaluation will involve two site visits for the purposes of data collection– an initial visit three months after the implementation of booster trainings for IBD substations and a follow-up visit approximately one-year later. Research activities will involve stakeholder and staff interviews, focus groups with assistant deputies from patrol divisions, and program observations. Interview, observation and focus group data will be analyzed to identify patterns across respondent type, observational situation, or interview domain. These activities will serve to document the successes and challenges of IBD program development and implementation. The process evaluation will also allow for a limited investigation into who is being diverted through IBD. This will involve working with MET to extract programmatic data to examine participant profiles (e.g., demographics, common charges) and outcome data to measure future contacts with law enforcement (e.g., re-arrest, future calls for service). These quantitative findings will lend further context to the findings of the process evaluation. The applicant will document lessons learned for other jurisdictions implementing diversion initiatives, particularly with an eye towards processes for navigating and adapting programming during challenging external events (e.g., public health crises, changes in the sociopolitical environment). "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