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Managing Mentally Disordered Detainees

NCJ Number
Date Published
H Steadman, B M Veysey
Publication Type
Grant Report
A mail survey, a telephone survey, and site visits formed the basis of an analysis of the specific special management needs of mentally ill offenders in jails, the programs used to serve them, the implementation of policies for supervising this population, and the associated allocation of resources.
Results revealed that many jails have designed and implemented innovative programs and policies to provide care to this group using the limited resources available. Forty-nine innovative program elements were observed. These included screening, evaluation, and classification procedures; crisis intervention and short-term treatment practices; discharge planning mechanisms; court liaison mechanisms; diversion practices; and contracting procedures. Each site had innovative ways of providing needed mental health services. However, a crucial factor is that establishing appropriate services for jail detainees with mental illnesses requires that the jail be regarded as only one agency in a continuum of county services. An adequate response cannot be expected if the mental health service needs of the inmate are defined simply as the jail's problem. Tables, program descriptions, list of related publications, and 11 references (Author summary modified)
Date Created: December 17, 2008