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Screening and assessment process for mental illness

Every person booked into jail is screened for mental illnesses using validated screening tools. For those that screen positive for serious mental illness, a licensed mental health professional administers a validated clinical assessment in a timely manner. Crucial case information is then disseminated to appropriate decision makers to inform pretrial release decisions and the need for further assessments.

For more information about this intervention, see these resources:
For samples related to this intervention, see these resources:
Local Examples

Miami-Dade County, FL Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation

  • All inmates booked into the jail receive a comprehensive health screening by Corrections Health Services, which includes the BJMHS.
  • Those that screen positive for serious mental illness (SMI) are provided with follow-up assessments within two hours for urgent cases, and as soon as possible for others.
  • People that have been assessed as having an SMI and meet eligibility requirements have the option to participate in the county's Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP) post-booking diversion program.
  • Through the CMHP, participants further assessed for criminogenic risk and needs, which then informs their transition plans.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Douglas County, KS Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DSCO)

  • Every person booked into jail is screened using BJMHS in order to identify SMI and other acute psychiatric problems.
  • When a person screens positive, DCSO's jail management system (JMS) sends an automatic alert about the presence of an individual with mental health needs to a clinician, who conducts a full assessment.
  • Screening and assessment results for people with an SMI diagnosis are stored in JMS, with protections that adhere to HIPAA regulations.
  • Aggregate data on screening and assessment results is analyzed along with frequency, length of stay, charge type, and demographic information.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Pacific County, WA Pacific County Sheriff's Office

  • Every person booked into jail is screened for mental illness using the BJMHS.
  • Screening results are collected in an electronic jail management system that can be queried.
  • For people who screen positive, the mental health clinician conducts a clinical assessment within 48 hours.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Lucas County, OH Lucas County Sheriff’s Office

  • Jail intake staff screen people booked into jail using the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen.
  • Once an individual screens positive for serious mental illness, the information is electronically sent via real-time feed to two jail-based behavioral health diversion programs: the Screener and Linkage program and the Jail-Based Program, which is run by Unison, a community-based behavioral health provider that also operates in the jail. At that time, if the client agrees to participate in either program, the program staff meet with the client and the client signs a release of information. This enables the program staff to contact behavioral health providers in the community to connect participants to services. All individuals who agree to participate in these programs have access to a full continuum of services both inside and outside of the jail.
  • Data is shared across systems to help the population that is in frequent contact with law enforcement, the jail, emergency departments, and other social services.

DuPage County, IL

  • All people booked into the DuPage County Correctional Center are screened for mental health needs and assessed appropriately. At the time of booking, all people entering the jail are asked to complete the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS).
  • Individuals who screen positive on the BJMHS receive information on connecting with the DuPage County Health Department for further assessment and linkage to services.
Type

Policy & Practice

Measures

2 - Reduce length of stay
3 - Increase connection to treatment