Mental Health Services /Criminal Justice Research Center

Project Details


[unreadable] DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application requests funding for a developing services research center that focuses exclusively on mental health (MH) services issues that arise when persons with mental illness have encounters with the criminal justice (CJ) system. The Mental Health Services and Criminal Justice (MHS&CJ) Research Center proposed here is designed (a) to improve the ways in which the mental health and criminal justice (MH-CJ) systems respond to the needs of persons with mental illness and (b) to inform the policies that are intended to affect these responses. This objective will be accomplished by building a multidisciplinary team of researchers that will communicate with and respond to practitioners, policy makers, advocacy groups, and consumers. The center will be situated at Rutgers University (RU) and co-directed by Drs. Nancy Wolff (RU) and William Fisher (University of Massachusetts Medical School, UMMS). The Rutgers site will provide the structure for research and training in MH-CJ systems dynamics and will coordinate all Center-related activities. The multidisciplinary team will be situated in a "borderless" research environment that will include researchers and research sites located around the country. Central to the Center's mission will be the recruitment of junior and senior researchers across the U.S. who are interested in developing and applying their expertise to issues related to the MH-CJ systems dynamic. Together, under the Center's auspices, they will pursue rigorous interdisciplinary MH-CJ services research. The Center's research agenda will focus on two areas. Precursors to the criminal justice system encounter is the first area of research. Our emphasis here is on the individual with mental illness and how that person comes to the attention of the CJ system. Understanding this dynamic is central to the development of prevention and desistance strategies. Processing dynamics is the second area of research. Here we will focus on how the CJ system responds to the individual's mental illness as the person moves through the CJ continuum from court to jail/prison to the community. Center-sponsored research will address the issues of identification and evaluation of mental illness, its treatment inside the jail and in the weeks post-release, and the different policy initiatives and innovations that attempt to impact the CJ system's response to mental illness. It is expected that the proposed developing center will develop a conceptually coherent research agenda and supporting methods, and a series of research initiatives that will culminate in the submission and funding of grant applications that provide findings that will improve practice.
Effective start/end date9/16/028/31/04


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $606,560.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $570,451.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $565,803.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $607,965.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $582,456.00


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