Ramsey county mental health court
15 W. Kellogg Boulevard¨ Saint Paul, MN 55102 ¨ (651) 266-9256
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Brandi Stavlo
July 29, 2013 (651) 266-9256
Ramsey County Mental Health Court Reduces Recidivism
Re-offense rates dropped significantly for mental health court graduates in a District Court program designed to help those with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders.
Saint Paul, MN – Today, the Ramsey County Mental Health Court (“RCMHC”) announced the release of its 2010 - 2012 Report describing the current research outcomes of the Court, including an analysis of recidivism rates.
RCMHC began in 2005, and has served over 300 mentally-ill participants facing criminal charges in Ramsey County. RCMHC, working with Ramsey County Human Services, promotes a mentally stable, crime-free, and self-sufficient lifestyle by facilitating access to existing mental health and social services. Participation is voluntary, and offers participants an alternative to purely criminal sanctions. This approach has demonstrated results by changing lives, lowering incarceration rates, reducing recidivism, and, as a result, saving public funds.
Recidivism outcome data reveals that RCMHC graduates were significantly less likely to be charged or convicted with a new offense and spent less time in jail than those of a comparison group in a one year and a three year follow up study.
In the one year follow-up, only 15% of graduates had new charges compared to 60% of the comparison group. Ten percent of graduates spent time in jail compared to 65% of the comparison group. Results remained consistent in the three year follow-up, with 35% of graduates having new charges compared to 70% of the comparison group. Only 28% of graduates spent time in jail compared to 68% of the comparison group.
The 2010 - 2012 Report also found that RCMHC participants have significantly more mental and chemical health services and supports in place at program completion when compared to program entry. Thirty percent of those accepted into RCMHC had mental health services at program entry compared to 99% at program completion. In addition, 5% of individuals accepted into RCMHC had chemical health supports at program entry compared to 83% at program completion.
These studies show that, through collaboration with community partners and the coercive authority and monitoring of the court, the ability of participants to cope with their mental illness and avoid criminal behaviors is significantly improved. RCMHC is funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Adult Mental Health Division, through December 31, 2013. To maintain adequate resources, the Court relies heavily on pro bono legal and social work services.