Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Laura and John Arnold Foundation discuss its efforts to help people tied to repetitive cycles in the criminal justice, healthcare, and social service systems.
• What can we do to support evidence-based solutions in this area, as this post details? Are funders and organizations gathering the right data to inform interventions?
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focused on testing programs to help people who repeatedly cycle through the criminal justice, healthcare, and social service systems in their communities. In particular, LJAF is interested in proposals to evaluate established approaches such as crisis intervention teams, assertive community treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy, short-term mental health crisis stabilization programs, and programs incorporating a Housing First approach …
Research shows that of the 11 million people who spend time in local jails each year, 68 percent have a substance use disorder, 64 percent have a mental illness, and 44 percent suffer from chronic health problems. Yet jail systems often lack the training or resources they need to respond to inmates’ substance use and behavioral health conditions. This has negative consequences for the individuals — the majority of whom are charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses — as well as society. Regular stints in jail often exacerbate defendants’ health and life challenges, and these same individuals frequently cycle through hospital emergency rooms and other emergency social service agencies. The uncoordinated care fails to address the underlying health and mental health issues that are driving people into these systems, perpetuating an ongoing cycle of costly and ineffective treatment. In fact, every year, taxpayers spend $22 billion on incarceration costs alone.
“There is a great deal of interest in determining how best to use data to improve our nation’s criminal justice and health care systems,” LJAF Vice President of Data-Driven Justice Lynn Overmann explained. “The leaders of more than 140 communities across the country have shown a commitment to data-driven justice.
Read the full article about helping people who cycle through systems at Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
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