Critical Issues - Program / Policy Issues
From: Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1992
Toward an Agenda for Reform of Justice and Mental Health Systems Interactions
Thomas L. Hafemeister
This article presents an agenda for reform of the justice and mental health systems interactions, which includes policy, management, and research strategies related to the systemic and interorganizational issues facing the two systems. The strategies are divided into six major categories: (a) base decisions, procedures, and policies on empirical data; (b) improve communications between systems; (c) ensure dignity and respect are afforded all individuals involved in both systems; (d) ensure the availability and delivery of mental health services and treatment programs; (e) inform others about issues related to the interactions of the justice and mental health systems; and (f) periodically review and reformulate policies, management strategies, and research efforts for improving systems interactions. The article also presents a summary of the problems and possible goals associated with mental health and justice systems interactions. The summaries as well as the agenda are based on the results of a symposium attended by practitioners and scholars in the justice and mental health fields.