PRA Work

Recognition of the high rates of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder among justice-involved individuals is vital.1  It is estimated that 85 percent of women in correctional settings have an early experience of physical and or sexual abuse.2  Other reports estimate even higher lifetime experience of traumatic events and show little difference between genders on the… Read More

In May 2012, the National Institute of Justice issued a research solicitation for indigent defense.   They set aside $1,000,000 to fund up to four studies.  I am willing to bet that when this was developed, indigent defense for persons with mental illnesses was not an issue that was considered.   I know it was not for… Read More


Just when many states and communities were beginning to figure out how to improve access to health and behavioral health services for justice involved persons with mental illness, the health care landscape is changing. With the support of federal initiatives such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Grants, BJA’s… Read More

Late last year SAMHSA issued a new definition of recovery and support services.  This definition includes peers with lived experience in the areas of mental health and substance use.  One of the unintended consequences of adopting this definition was to reopen the debate about who is a peer and what constitutes peer support in both… Read More

In these days of ever diminishing resources for public sector behavioral health services for justice-involved persons, there is a strong temptation to oversell jail diversion programs.  Unrealistic expectations can set the stage for perceptions of poor performance.  This tendency is often fostered by bad research methodology and by overly zealous advocates who are misled by… Read More

The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ), operated by Policy Research Inc., selected 10 sites to participate in a new training initiative designed to create sustainable mental health training capacity within state and local juvenile justice systems.  This effort, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the John… Read More

Recently there has been frenzy in the media over the idea of Homeless Hotspots– much of which many have been tweeted, blogged about, or posted to your Facebook page.  Whether this idea infuriates or intrigues you, most will agree one good outcome is the attention brought to the very real problem of homelessness in our… Read More