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Using Management Information Systems To Locate People with Serious Mental Illnesses and Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Disorders in the Criminal Justice For Diversion: Maricopa County Data Link Project

NCJ Number
Jail Suicide/Mental Health Update Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Dated: Fall 1999 Pages: 6-9
Eric Raider; Brian Arthur
Date Published
4 pages
Maricopa County (Phoenix, Ariz.) has developed an enhanced identification and referral process for the diversion from jail of persons with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders.
The key element of the process is the establishment of an electronic "Data Link" between the Maricopa County jail system and the local behavioral health authority, which assists the diversion program staff in quickly identifying mental health consumers or arrestees with a history of mental health treatment, including those who have co-occurring substance-use disorders who may be eligible for diversion from jail. The jail electronic data link provides for continued identification of clients throughout the day, regardless of booking charge, time of booking, or current mental status. Clients that match all criteria for diversion have their names immediately sent electronically to the jail diversion staff computer, as well as to the client's case manager. Clients that match at least one of the critera, with the exception of gender, are considered a partial match and are only sent to the jail diversion staff. The jail diversion team further investigates to determine whether the subject should be converted to a full match or be deleted from the system. After full matches are determined, the jail diversion staff uses various criteria to select candidates for the jail diversion program. The three types of intervention used in the diversion program are described.