Is Diversion Swift? Comparing Mental Health Court and Traditional Criminal Justice Processing

Allison D. Redlich, Siyu Liu, Henry J. Steadman, Lisa Callahan, Pamela C. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Formal diversion programs are increasingly popular options for offenders with mental illness. Diversion is recommended, and often assumed, to be swift in that eligible persons should be quickly identified and enrolled. In this study, the authors examine the length from initial arrest to enrollment into mental health court and compare it to time from arrest to disposition for offenders with and without mental illness traditionally processed. The authors, using medians as the metric and limiting the period to 1 year, found time to mental health court was 70 days, whereas traditional processing for offenders with and without known mental illness was 37 and 76 days, respectively. The authors also found detention status during this period to have a large effect on processing time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-433
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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