Criminal Justice Mental Health Data Linkage Initiative
In response to the tremendous growth of the inmate population in Hamilton County over the past decade, and the increase in arrest of adults with severe mental illness, the Hamilton County Criminal Justice (CJ) and Mental Health Systems (MH) have identified several problems related to the custody of mentally ill offenders, recidivism, co-occurring disorders, overuse of institutional resources, and ineffective information use.
In its continuing role as a collaborator as the front door for persons to access services through the Hamilton County Mental Health Services and Recovery Board (HCMHSRB), Mental Health Access Point (MHAP) has developed a shared electronic data infrastructure linking Hamilton County Jail to local Mental Health Case Management Agencies informing them daily of the detaining of their clients. The Criminal Justice – Mental health Data Linkage Electronic Program has been in place since December ’08.
Through effective collaboration from Pre-Trial Services, case managers are able to visit their clients at the Hamilton County Jail, provide assistance in the development of a plan for possible early release, diversion prior to sentencing, confirm medication regimen with the MH Unit, and assist their clients with court appearances, schedules, dispositions, and release, working alongside various divisions of the Justice Center (Public Defense Attorney, Mentally Disabled Offender Probation Unit, Court Services Municipal and Common Pleas, the Mental Health Unit, and Sheriff’s Records).