Dual-Diagnosis Courts: A Case Study in California

Libby Deschenes, California State University - Long Beach
Christine Kleinpeter, California State University - Long Beach

Many of the mentally ill offenders who are under supervision in the criminal justice system are also substance abusers, often self-medicating. These offenders often recycle through the system if they do not get treatment for their mental health or substance abuse disorders. A few jurisdictions have designed correctional treatment programs for dually diagnosed offenders that are modeled after drug courts. This paper presents the preliminary results of process and outcome evaluations of a dual diagnosis court in southern California. Observational data, treatment and probation records were used to examine the characteristics of participants, the treatment received, and short-term outcomes. This paper also provides policy implications for other jurisdictions.

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Updated 05/20/2006