Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Mental Health Court Initiative at Seven Sites in the United States, 2003-2004 (ICPSR 4114)

Published: Mar 15, 2005

Principal Investigator(s):
Henry J. Steadman, Policy Research Associates, Inc.

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04114.v1

Version V1

This study evaluated seven mental health courts that were partially funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Data were collected on 285 formal referrals to the seven courts between November 1, 2003, and January 31, 2004. For every referral, court staff completed a one-page questionnaire that covered (1) identification of the referring agent, (2) characteristics of the referred person, including age, gender, race, criminal charges, and type of mental disorder, and (3) the disposition decision.

Steadman, Henry J. Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Mental Health Court Initiative at Seven Sites in the United States, 2003-2004. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-03-15. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04114.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2003-DD-BX-1012)

None.

Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

2003-11-01 -- 2004-01-23

2003-11 -- 2004-03

This study evaluated seven mental health courts that were partially funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. They were located in Santa Clara County, California, Orange County, North Carolina, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Washoe County, Nevada, Brooklyn, New York, Bonneville County, Idaho, and Orange County, California. Research questions concerned (1) how cases were referred, processed, and disposed of by the courts and (2) whether there were factors that distinguished cases accepted by the court from cases referred to the court but not accepted. The researchers were also interested in whether mental health courts, like the majority of other jail diversion programs, would have older, white women disproportionately represented in comparison to their numbers in the criminal justice system as a whole.

Data were collected on 285 people who were formally referred to the seven courts between November 1, 2003, and January 31, 2004. A formal referral was defined slightly differently for each court, but, in general, it was a person who passed through that court's pre-determined referral process. Court staff completed a one-page questionnaire for every formal referral during the study period. The questionnaire had three parts: (1) identification of the referring agent, (2) characteristics of the referred person, and (3) the disposition decision. The questionnaires were received back from the courts between November 2003 and March 2004.

In 2002 the Bureau of Justice Assistance began funding 23 mental health courts in the United States. This study covered the seven that were operational at the time the study began.

Individuals formally referred to the seven mental health courts covered by this study between November 1, 2003, and January 31, 2004.

Individuals.

Data were gathered through questionnaires filled out by staff at the seven mental health courts.

survey data

Variables include referral date, referring agent, age, gender, race, most serious criminal charge, type of crime, number of current misdemeanors and felonies, whether the person had a major mental disorder, type of disorder, primary Axis I diagnosis, whether the person had substance abuse problems, date of referral disposition, referral disposition outcome, if accepted, whether the person enrolled, reason if not accepted, and several derived variables.

Completed surveys were received from all seven sites involved in the study.

None

2005-03-15

2005-03-15

Notes

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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.