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Behavioral Health Care

Treatment for mental health and substance use disorders has been demonstrated to be extremely effective. Factors that lead to better treatment outcomes include early identification and intervention, accurate assessment, availability of a full continuum of treatment options, and the use of evidence-based treatment programs, a sample of which are linked below.

Learn More About Evidence-based Behavioral Health Care Resources

These treatment modalities reflect an understanding that effective treatment for people in the criminal justice system requires a blend of traditional behavioral health treatment services and services tailored to the relevant criminogenic risks and needs of the individual. They will typically have a diverse range of behavioral health, criminogenic, case management, and social support needs that require different screening and assessment, more coordination among service providers, and a broader range of complimentary services. The accepted model for conceptualizing this constellation of needs and services is the risk need responsivity (RNR) model. An excellent summary of the basics of these principles is this PRA publication:

RNR has a strong foothold in the substance use disorder context but receives less consideration relative to treating people with mental illness in the criminal justice system. Yet recent research makes clear that the RNR principles apply with equal force in addressing mental illness:

SAMHSA’s Principles of Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Justice-involved Individuals provides a useful summary of how it all fits together, and the appropriate services described can then be found, locally, at the SAMHSA site.

While traditionally behavioral health treatment has been delivered in one on one settings or in small groups, evidence-based remote or online treatment has been found to be as effective as in-person treatment. Examples of these online programs include: