Mental Health Courts Work

The Urban Institute has released a new evaluation that shows that participants in two New York City mental health courts are significantly less likely to re-offend than similar offenders whose cases are handled in the traditional court system.

The Urban Institute compared participants in the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, a demonstration project of the Center for Court Innovation, and the Bronx Mental Health Court with two matched sets of offenders who were identified as having mental health disorders while held at Rikers Island. Among other findings, the study found that re-arrest rates for participants in both the Brooklyn and Bronx Mental Health Courts were significantly lower than for the comparison groups.

Consistent with other research, the study documents that younger offenders re-offended at significantly higher rates than older offenders and that recidivism rates were not affected by the diagnoses of the offenders.

The Center for Court Innovation has extensive experience with mental health courts. In addition to helping to plan, implement, and conduct an earlier process and outcome evaluation of the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, the Center provides technical assistance to mental health courts across the state and the country.

To obtain more information from the Center for Court Innovation click  here.

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