Outcomes of mandated and nonmandated New York city jail diversion for offenders with alcohol, drug, and mental disorders
The authors studied 175 mentally ill, substance-using adult jail detainees assessed at baseline, 3, and 12 months through a quasi-experimental comparison design. The study examines the effect of diversion, treatment, and individual characteristics on criminal justice, mental health, substance use, and life satisfaction outcomes. The intervention group included nonmandated and mandated diversion tracks. The comparison participants met diversion acceptance criteria but underwent standard criminal justice processes. Main findings included that mandated diversion clients were less likely to spend as much time in prison and more likely to spend time in the community, have been linked to residential and outpatient treatment, have received more treatment, and decrease drug use. However, those who did not perceive themselves coerced and had insight into their mental illness received more treatment regardless of diversion condition. Although mandated diversion was found effective for some outcomes, individual characteristics, treatment, and diversion in general significantly contributed.