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Mental health professional embedded in the jail

One or more mental health professionals work within the jail to provide expertise and support for corrections personnel, as well as treatment, referrals, and support for people who have mental illnesses.

For a sample related to this intervention, see this resource:
Local Examples

Champaign County, IL Champaign County Sheriff's Office

  • The behavioral health provider embedded in the jail provides screening, assessment, and clinical services within the jail, and is also the designated reentry service provider for the county.
  • The provider has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Champaign County Sheriff's Office to share aggregate information and program outcomes in a manner that protects patient confidentiality and supports a data-driven strategy.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Fairfax County, VA Fairfax County Community Services Board and Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office

  • The Community Services Board (CSB), the local behavioral health authority, provides jail-based screening, assessment, crisis intervention, case management/release planning, psychotropic medication evaluation, ongoing psychiatric care, family support, group treatment and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
  • Jail-based programming offers education- and treatment-focused groups, such as substance use education, evidence-based trauma programming, and cognitive behavioral groups.
  • The CSB’s jail diversion team are mental health professionals who provide intensive case management with in-reach to the jail and community-based supports. They collaborate with numerous entities and programs, including the jail-based CSB team, the sheriff’s office, local and state probation officers, public defenders, private attorneys, judges, private nonprofits, homeless shelters, consumer wellness centers, and subsidized housing programs.
  • Positive results on the Brief Jail Mental Health Screening generate an electronic referral to jail-based CSB staff and, once they are notified, CSB staff conduct a more thorough assessment to determine risk of recidivism and service needs. Referrals to mental health services are also encouraged from individuals, families, law enforcement, attorneys, probation officers, and others involved in care.

For more information on this example, see these resources:

Union County, OH Tri-County Regional Jail

  • A criminal justice navigator is located within the Tri-County Regional Jail to provide screening and early identification of mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders following jail admissions.
  • Based on the initial screening, the navigator prioritizes people in custody who have been identified as needing mental health and/or substance use treatment.
  • Services provided by the navigator include
    • Brief intervention and supportive counseling while planning for reentry;
    • Coordination of care with community-based treatment providers; and
    • Communication with the courts and community partners on behalf of people in custody to support reintegration.

Mobile County, AL

  • A full-time case manager is embedded in the jail five days a week to evaluate people who are identified as screening positive on the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen at booking.
  • The case manager meets with those individuals and does an in-depth assessment for serious mental illness, linking people to treatment and setting them up for case management services as needed.

Policy & Practice, Program


3 - Increase connection to treatment

Last updated: June 28, 2023