Center for Behavioral Health, Justice, & Public Policy

The Center's Objectives

Center for Behavioral Health, Justice and Public PolicyThe Center addresses five sets of issues: (1) knowledge generation about the characteristics of persons with behavioral disorders who cycle through the justice system and the effectiveness of interventions for assessing and treating theses illnesses; (2) training across treatment and correctional disciplines involving both educational institutions and service settings that will disseminate state of the art information on what works, for whom, and under what circumstances; (3) program development initiatives that help identify and implement promising practices designed to improve access to, and the quality of, behavioral health services for individuals in criminal justice settings; (4) knowledge dissemination efforts to provide information on program activities and research findings to other jurisdictions in Baltimore, the State of Maryland and nationally; and (5) knowledge translation activities that provide relevant empirical data to inform policymakers at the city, State and national levels.

The Center is committed in making a unique contribution to the field, our community, and vulnerable citizens by integrating the following activities across multiple systems:

  • Conduct research on the epidemiology of behavioral disorders within the justice system, their antecedents, their relationships to criminal justice outcomes, and the treatment and service needs of persons with behavioral disorders.

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of new models of clinical care and interventions for individuals with behavioral disorders in contact with the justice system.

  • Develop products conveying evidence-based information on salient clinical characteristics of youth and adults with behavioral disorders and methods for diverting them from justice settings and/or improving their re-entry into community settings.

  • Develop cross-disciplinary training material for public safety and correctional officers, judges and attorneys, families and consumers, and the mental health and addiction providers and related professionals working with individuals with behavioral disorders.

  • Disseminate information and teach skills in ways that will promote effective change in provider behavior and practice that results in improved care for the target population.

  • Promote systems integration by identifying common ground and mutually defined objectives between behavioral health and justice systems in order to create more effective relationships between agencies working with youth and adults with behavioral disorders involved in the justice system.

Background and Mission


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