Wednesday, 15 July 2015

An Evaluation of the Effects of Jail Diversion and Reentry for Mentally Ill Offenders

an article by Christine Tartaro (Richard Stockton College, Galloway, New Jersey, USA) published in Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume 54 Issue 2 (2015)


Jewish Family Services (JFS) is a nonprofit agency that assists mentally ill offenders in southern New Jersey. In an effort to steer misdemeanants to treatment rather than jail or probation, JFS established agreements with police to provide pre- and post-booking diversion for misdemeanants whose offenses appear to be a product of mental illness.

JFS also participates in re-entry planning services for incarcerated mentally ill offenders who are serving county jail sentences.

Data were collected for cases involving clients who were diverted or participated in re-entry and people who were referred to JFS and either were ineligible for reasons other than criminal offense type or drug and alcohol addiction or were eligible but unable to be contacted by JFS.

Treatment participants remained in the community before being incarcerated for an average of 218 days longer than the members of the comparison group, and this difference remained statistically significant when controlling for other relevant variables.

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