With support from the Public Welfare Foundation, the William S. Abell Foundation, and the Justice Grants Administration of Washington, DC, the DC Forensic Health Project:

  • described peoples’ mental health needs and their pathways as they pass through the DC criminal justice system and reenter communities;
  • informed targeted service models that improve access to treatment for underserved groups; and,
  • provided an example of analysis that could be conducted with an integrated data system or data sharing between agencies.

Why This Work Matters  

Criminal justice system involvement often correlates with a range of health and social problems including substance use and mental illness. However, most criminal justice institutions lack tools to identify these kinds of problems—as well as the resources to deal with them—and many people pass through the jail, the courts, or community supervision agencies without receiving critical support. The DC Forensic Health Project’s goal was to provide health and justice system practitioners with the information necessary to identify and respond to the mental health needs of underserved groups.

For more information, contact Vice President and Research Director Jim Parsons.