The April 2020 edition of the Policy Research Associates’ monthly newsletter included announcements, publications, and the latest posts from the PRA blog.

This newsletter contains the following headlines:

  • Resources to Respond to COVID-19 for Criminal Justice, Behavioral Health, and Homelessness Service Providers
  • New Publications in Psychiatric Services Examine Competence Restoration
  • New Resource: Spotlight on Trueblood Diversion Programs
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • Recent Stories from the PRA Blog

In response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to the criminal justice, behavioral health, and homelessness service systems, Policy Research and its projects have developed the following resources to enhance service delivery during this difficult time: 

Two papers co-authored by Senior Research Associate Lisa Callahan, Ph.D., have been published in Psychiatric Services. Both papers analyze the competence to stand trial (CST) and competence restoration system (CR). The first article, “Evaluation and Restoration of Competence to Stand Trial: Intercepting the Forensic System Using the Sequential Intercept Model,” explores how criminal justice and behavioral health stakeholders can use the SIM to reduce jail stays and increase connections to community-based services for individuals with serious behavioral health conditions and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities. The second article, “Challenges to Reforming the Competence to Stand Trial and Competence Restoration System,” reviews the problems affecting the current CST/CR system and offers preliminary solutions. 

Over the past 2 years, PRA has provided technical assistance to 15 diversion services programs funded by the Trueblood settlement. Trueblood is a class action lawsuit in Washington State that enforces a person’s constitutional right to timely competence evaluation and restoration services. To highlight the work of the diversion services programs and provide examples of how diversion can be modeled at different intercepts of the SIM, PRA is pleased to release a one-page infographic that arrays the diversion services programs across the SIM.

The infographic distributes the diversion programs by intercept grouping: Intercepts 0–1 (Community Services and Law Enforcement), Intercepts 2–3 (Initial Detention/Court Hearings and Jails/Courts), and Intercepts 4–5 (Reentry and Community Corrections).

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This resource was first shared in 2020.

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