Behavioral Health Needs

Improving outcomes for persons with mental illness and substance use disorders who encounter, or are at risk for encountering, the criminal legal system

Expanding Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion

Police contact and arrest can be a result of untreated or undertreated behavioral health conditions, but avoiding arrest and diverting individuals with behavioral health conditions to effective treatment is a much preferred policy option. However, evidence is needed to identify the most effective forms of diversion, for whom and under what conditions. The Wilson Center's work in this area seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of promising pre-arrest diversion programs and recommend policies in line with those findings.

close up of doctor holding hands with a patient

Improving Crisis Response

Behavioral health crises can lead to contact with law enforcement, arrest, injury, or other harmful responses. The Wilson Center seeks to evaluate new models of crisis response with an eye toward reducing involvement of law enforcement while assuring public safety.

close up shot of two people sitting side by side. one person comforts the other.

Improving Behavioral Health Outcomes During Incarceration

Persons with behavioral health conditions all too often are arrested or incarcerated as a direct or indirect result of un- or undertreated behavioral health conditions. The Wilson Center seeks to identify and evaluate promising interventions to improve functioning during incarceration, reduce the risk of re-arrest, and enhance community re-integration.

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Improving Reentry Supports

Many formerly incarcerated individuals return to their communities without the supports needed to succeed, especially those with behavioral health conditions. The Wilson Center evaluates what range of supports are needed for success in reentry and identifies model reentry programs. The Center also documents reentry supports available in specific local communities and potential gaps in services, disseminates those findings to stakeholders, and supports implementation of effective programs.

Woman looking out over the city