Integrating Criminal Justice, Community Healthcare, and Support Services for Adults with Severe Mental Disorders

Authors: Weisman, R.L.1; Lamberti, J.S.2; Price, N.3

Source: Psychiatric Quarterly, Volume 75, Number 1, 2004 , pp. 71-85(15)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

Persons with severe mental disorders are overrepresented in our nation's jails and prisons. Factors including cooccurring substance use disorders, homelessness, and lack of access to community services have contributed to this problem, as have gaps between criminal justice, healthcare, and community support systems. In order to address these issues, Project Link was developed by the University of Rochester Department of Psychiatry in collaboration with five local community agencies. Project Link is designed to prevent involvement of individuals with severe mental illness from entering the criminal justice system. While many models of diversion programs exist, they are all dependent on access to appropriate community-based services. This paper will describe the steps that Project Link has taken towards integrating criminal justice, healthcare, and community support services for individuals with severe mental disorders involved in the criminal justice system.

Keywords: assertive community treatment; criminal justice; diversion; mental health; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Director, Project Link and ACT Programs, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center and Faculty of the Charles E. Steinberg Fellowship in Psychiatry and the Law;, Email: Robert_Weisman@urmc.rochester.edu 2: Associate Chair for Clinical Programs, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center 3: Team Leader and Nurse Practitioner for Strong Ties ACT team, University of Rochester Medical Center

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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