Policy Research Associates, Inc.
From referral to disposition: case processing in seven mental health courts†
Article first published online: 7 APR 2005
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Diversion from the Criminal Justice System
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 215–226, March/April 2005
How to Cite
Steadman, H. J., Redlich, A. D., Griffin, P., Petrila, J. and Monahan, J. (2005), From referral to disposition: case processing in seven mental health courts. Behav. Sci. Law, 23: 215–226. doi: 10.1002/bsl.641
The research reported here was funded by the National Institute of Justice, Grant Number 2003-DD-BX-1012. We would also like to thank the seven participating mental health courts for their gracious cooperation.
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2005
- Article first published online: 7 APR 2005
- National Institute of Justice. Grant Number: 2003-DD-BX-1012
The number of mental health courts in the United States is rapidly increasing, from one in 1997 to nearly 100 in 2004. However, to date there is comparatively little research regarding these specialty courts. The present study reports data on the referral and disposition decision-making processes of seven mental health courts. Information on all referrals to the seven courts over a three-month period was gathered. Results show that, in comparison with individuals involved in the criminal justice system, mental health court clients are more likely to be older, White, and women than individuals in the general criminal justice system. Furthermore, this over-representation occurs at the point of referral, rather than at the point of the court's decision to accept or reject a referral. In addition, the length of time from referral to diversion is much longer in these mental health courts than in other types of diversion programs. Implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.