Criminal Justice Issues

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Draine, J., Blank, A., Kottsieper, P. & Solomon, P. (2005). “Contrasting jail diversion and in-jail services for mental illness and substance abuse: Do they serve the same clients?” Behavioral Science and the Law, 23, 171-181.
  • Draine, J., Blank Wilson, A., Marcus S.C., Metraux, S., Hadley, T., & Evans, A.C. (2010). “The Impact of Mental Illness Status on the Length of Jail Detention and the Legal Mechanism of Jail Release.” Psychiatric Services, 61(5), 458-462.
  • Matejkowski, J., Caplan, J. M., & Cullen, S. W. (2010). “The impact of severe mental illness on parole decisions : Social integration within a prison setting.” Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(9), 1005-1029.


Reentry and Renewal

Reentry and Renewal: A review of peer-run organizations that serve individuals with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice involvement is a joint project of the College for Behavioral Health Leadership’s Peer Leader Interest Group, the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, Mental Health America, and the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion. Based on responses to a recent national survey, Reentry and Renewal highlights a dozen exemplary peer-run programs that serve individuals with both behavioral health conditions and criminal justice backgrounds. It not only provides recommendations for peer-run programs to improve upon effective supports for individuals with behavioral health conditions, but also spotlights needed policy change and the importance of expanded funding and research.

Returning to the Community: Reentry Barriers following Incarceration among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses

Reintegration of individuals with mental illnesses into everyday community life following incarceration is a major issue affecting every municipality and state around the country. The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities was asked by Philadelphia City Council to provide suggestions for how this complex and urgent issue could best be addressed. Key stakeholders in the field were identified, including individuals with mental health conditions who had left jails and prisons, and asked to offer their opinions about the most significant barriers during the reentry transition. Information from these conversations led to a city council investigatory hearing on the issue.  These activities resulted in thirteen recommendations that are briefly described in this document. The intention of this document is to share these recommendations with others as well as describe a process that could be used in other cities and states to identify similar recommendations that meet local circumstances and that raise the importance of community reentry and inclusion in the eyes of local governments.

How Do We Create a Truly Just Criminal Justice System for Everyone, Including Individuals with Mental Health Conditions?

This webinar, sponsored by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion and the National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse covers an array of topics – presented by three prominent experts in criminal justice issues – including: the movement for social justice where the goal is to cut the incarceration rate in half by 2030 while reducing crime; how to support individuals with mental health conditions who are incarcerated and how to help them transition successfully into the community; diversion models to prevent or minimize incarceration, including the Nathaniel Project, the first alternative-to-incarceration program in Manhattan Supreme Court for adults with serious mental health conditions convicted of felony offenses.

Forensic Peer Specialists: An Emerging Workforce

Forensic Peer Specialists are part of an emerging workforce comprised of individuals with a history of mental illness and incarceration who have achieved a reasonable degree of stability in their own lives and are now employed by local government and non-profit agencies to provide individualized support to others with both psychiatric disabilities and criminal justice involvements. However, since the field is new, qualifications and responsibilities are defined variously from site to site. This Policy Brief, based on an informal national environmental scan with Forensic Peer Specialist programs across the county in 2011, seeks to define what we know at present about this new workforce and to establish a research agenda for the future.