Evidence-Based Practice for Justice Involved Individuals Discussion Paper

Integrated Mental Health/Substance Abuse Responses to Justice Involved Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders

About the Course:

There is an overrepresentation of persons with co-occurring disorders (COD) involved in the criminal justice system. The provision of integrated services to persons with COD has been identified as an evidence-based practice (EPB), and data suggests that positive public safety and health outcomes for justice involved persons with COD are associated with integrated program models as well. This paper reviews the research associated with integrated treatment, highlights efforts to adapt integrated treatment for justice involved persons with COD, and describes efforts along a justice continuum to identify and link these persons to integrated treatment.


The GAINS Center

Publication Date:

November 2005


Fred C. Osher, M.D.

About the Author:

Fred C. Osher, M.D., is a community psychiatrist with clinical and research interests focusing on the co-occurrence of mental and substance use disorders. Over the last two decades, Dr. Osher has led clinical and research efforts for persons with these disorders within the criminal justice system and among homeless populations. Dr. Osher is the Director of the Center for Behavioral Health, Justice, and Public Policy and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has a long history of public sector service at local, state, and federal levels.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about integrated mental health/substance abuse responses to justice involved persons with co-occurring disorders. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Discuss the prevalence rates of co-occurring mental and substance related disorders within jails and prisons and the factors contributing to those rates.

  2. Explain the history of COD (co-occurring disorder) treatment and the role of integrated treatment, programs, services, and systems.

  3. Describe research supporting services integration for COD and the applications of evidence based practices for COD to justice involved persons.

  4. Identify methods of applying integrated mental health and substance abuse services for justice involved persons with COD, including the sequential intercept model.

Exam Questions

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