Identifying Behavioral Health Needs of Individuals Screened at the Booking Counter of Montgomery County Jail
Keywords:reentry population, substance use disorders, mental health, gender differences, racial disparities
Background: Many of the individuals who are released from incarceration are re-arrested and re-incarcerated within three years of release. Challenges that predispose individuals to re-arrest and re-incarceration include lack of education, employment opportunities, decent affordable housing, and treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) and/or mental illness. This report summarizes the behavioral health needs of newly arrested individuals in Montgomery County, Ohio.
Methods: For this project, 4,809 adult individuals arrested for non-violent crimes received behavioral health screening and case management at booking in the Montgomery County Jail. Criminogenic assessment using the Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) tool was conducted with 484 arrestees. Descriptive statistics and chi square statistics were calculated for gender, race, referrals made, education level, employment status, housing status, alcohol and other drug use, and mental health status.
Results: As a group, the arrestees were undereducated, underemployed, and homeless. Based on RNR assessment, 67% had an SUD,
and 60% required mental health treatment. Significant gender and racial differences were found among the arrestees, with women
significantly more likely to have SUD and mental health issues.
Conclusions: Individuals arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Jail experience a complex interaction among mental health, poly-substance use, medical, employment, and housing needs that must be addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated funding manner. This interactive complexity of issues demand a response from an integrated service delivery system that would best benefit the person served and the community.
Copyright (c) 2022 Josephine F. Wilson, Blaise N. Ipsaro, Charles Crosby, Valerie A. Kapp, Teresa G. Russell, Beverly Tanamachi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.