Behavioral health indicators and time‐to‐rearrest in an adult pre‐arrest diversion program [2020]

Several states have recently adopted legislation in support of pre‐arrest diversion programs that give police the authority to refer adults with behavioral health needs to treatment providers instead of placing them under arrest and booking them into local jails. The Adult Civil Citation program has been operating since 2013 to divert adults accused for the first time of a misdemeanor offense to a community behavioral health provider with the primary goal of addressing underlying needs that are likely to be associated with future criminal justice contact. The current study analyzed data from a sample of 1,071 adults who participated in the program to assess the impact of behavioral health indicators on time‐to‐rearrest. Adults who presented greater behavioral health needs were more likely to come into subsequent contact with police, but these indications did not influence the amount of time that lapsed between program participation and rearrest events.

Albert M. Kopak
Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 17 February 2020