Evaluation of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs: A Comparison of Short-Term Outcomes for Diverted Subjects Compared to Non-Diverted Subjects

Shannon Morrison, Research Triangle Institute
Pamela K. Lattimore, Research Triangle Institute

The Criminal Justice Diversion Project (CJDP) is a multisite evaluation of criminal justice diversion programs in nine geographically diverse locations across the US. The purpose of the CJDP is to evaluate the impact on outcomes when individuals with serious mental disorders and co-occurring substance abuse disorders are diverted to community treatment programs rather than incarcerated. The principal components of the evaluation include: enrollment of treatment and comparison subjects; baseline subject interview at intake; 3-month follow-up subject interview; 12-month follow-up subject interview; process evaluation; cost-benefit study at four sites; and the study of service integration. Key research questions related to this paper include: (1) Do diverted subjects receive more treatment than non-diverted subjects? (2) What is the effect of services on mental health, substance abuse and criminal justice outcomes? For this paper, we analyze subject data collected at intake and the three month follow-up. Using linear and logistic regression, we test for significant differences between treatment and comparison subjects, while controlling for the effects of sociodemographic variables as well as other variables deemed important for this population. The presentation will include an overview of the CJDP, and a discussion of the methodology, results, and future analyses.

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Updated 05/20/2006