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Integration of mental health and the criminal justice system: A data collection strategy and evaluation

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6 Author(s)
Dexter Galozo ; Systems and Information Engineering Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 22904 USA ; Lindsey McGuire ; Morgan Murray ; Alexandra Vu
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As is the case in many communities, individuals exhibiting behaviors associated with mental illness represent about twenty percent of the inmates at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail in Charlottesville, Virginia. While in jail, mental conditions may worsen due to mistreatment from fellow inmates and lack of resources needed to provide appropriate mental health treatment. Worsened conditions contribute to future unlawful behavior and re-arrest, repeating the cycle. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) was developed to alleviate this problem by helping prevent people with mental illness from entering the jails in the first place. Through specialized training and other education programs offered to law enforcement officers, CIT aims to improve mental health treatment as well as interactions with the law for those experiencing effects of a mental illness. The CIT program needs to provide evidence that its programs in Charlottesville benefit the community as planned. This project is focused on designing and implementing a data collection and evaluation strategy for the Charlottesville CIT. Using the systems methodology, the authors developed a data collection system that collects information specified as necessary in evaluating the effectiveness of CIT and its programs. The system requires individuals from 6 agencies to submit monthly datasheets to the CIT coordinator. A macro-driven Excel tool is then used by the CIT coordinator to integrate these datasheets and calculate CIT performance metrics.

Published in:

Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, 2008. SIEDS 2008. IEEE

Date of Conference:

25-25 April 2008