Research question/statement of the problem:
What gaps exist among resources provided to prisoners with mental health disorders in Harris County? This project aims to Identify these gaps and provide effective/productive resources for prisoners in Harris County. For this project, an examination of prisoner mental health programs nationwide will be conducted specific to effective reentry services. Further, this project will explore a new program in Harris County. The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD in conjunction with Pre-Trial Services (PTS) recently began (June 11, 2021) a new program at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office to identify prisoners with mental health markers and are eligible for General Order Bonds (GOB). Identified prisoners will be provided with resources upon release to increase their likelihood of success. One of the goals of this program is to connect prisoners with mental health disorders to available resources in the community to prevent the ongoing cycle of recidivism caused by various issues (e.g. missed court appearances, transportation issues, homelessness, lack of medication). While this project does not aim to evaluate this program, it will be compared with other programs nationwide on which research or other information exists in the literature.
Description of proposed method (i.e. policy analysis, literature review, program development, etc.): *
An examination of the literature will be undertaken to better understand the issues faced by mentally ill offenders upon release. Policies and programs nationwide will be examined as well as existing research on these programs. A new program in Harris County will be compared to existing programs nationwide. Information on this new program/collaboration will be collected, reviewed, and compared to existing literature on programs that have been found to be effective in decreasing recidivism among mentally ill offenders upon release from detention.