Sequential Intercept Model in Ohio
States and communities throughout the U.S. are making efforts to address the complex issue of devising effective systems of care for persons living with mental illness who become involved in the criminal justice system. The focus of these efforts is to implement "Jail Diversion" programs which will redirect persons with mental illness to community treatment alternatives designed to address symptoms associated with mental illness and thinking and behaviors associated with activities that cause criminal justice system involvement.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ CCoE) promotes use of the Sequential Intercept Model to engage local stakeholders in discussion and planning surrounding effective practices, gaps in services, and barriers to system improvement related to serving persons with mental illness at all points of intercept in the criminal justice system. The CJ CCoE also encourgages collaboration and sharing within and among communities to improve awareness, knowledge, and access to helpful resources.
SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation also collects and disseminates information and provides consultation and technical assistance to help communities achieve integrated systems of mental health and substance abuse services for individuals in contact with the justice system. The Center's primary focus is on expanding access to community based services for adults diagnosed with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders at all points of contact with the justice system. To support communities in these efforts, the Center released a web-based resource on jail diversion for serious mentally ill offenders: and in cooperation with the Council of State Governments a Checklist for Implementing Evidence-based Practices and Programs (EBP's) for Justice Involved Adults with Behavioral Health Disorders.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (AKA "health reform" law), signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010 may have a significant impact on how people involved in the criminal justice system can access public health insurance and services. This document addresses the implications of the law for justice-involved adults.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been reporting on the subject of mental illness and the criminal justice system through a series of related articles.
The Journal Sentinel series culminated in the December 2011 release of the following documentary:
Choose an Ohio county to see local jail diversion programs