Description: The University of South Florida’s integrated data system integrates data across a variety of agencies in order to promote policy-driven research and enhance health and human services’ programs and practices. The Policy and Services Research Data Center (PSRDC) resides within the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral and Community Sciences under the Department of Mental Health, Law, and Policy and consists of two distinct integrated data systems: the Statewide Data System and the Pinellas County Data Collaborative.
IDS Projects to Inform Policy
Summary: One of the most important issues facing the criminal justice system in the United States is the influx of individuals with serious mental illnesses. It is estimated that 14.5% of males and 31% of females booked to jails have a serious mental illness. Some individuals are arrested repeatedly, accounting for significant expenditures of resources from law enforcement, judges, and jails. In Florida, the Florida Mental Health Institute worked with Miami Judge Steve Leifman to analyze criminal justice and service utilization histories of 97 mentally ill “heavy users” of the Miami-Dade County criminal justice system.
FMHI used several statewide data sets to examine five years of history of each of these individuals, including statewide Medicaid claims, arrests, civil commitments, and units of behavioral health services such as outpatient care and inpatient hospitalization. The vast majority of these individuals were diagnosed as schizophrenic. Yet over a five year period, these 97 individuals accounted for 2,172 arrests (or 4.4 per individual year), 26,640 days in jail, and 710 civil commitments. On average, each person was arrested 22 times in five years, and spent 55 days in jail per year. In addition, each person on average spent 81 days per year, or nearly a quarter of each year, in a jail, hospital, or emergency room.
As a result of this analysis, Miami-Dade is creating a service response that will focus on the needs of individuals with characteristics of this “heavy user” group. The service response will include special care coordination, as well as evidence-based practices such as Illness Management Recovery (IMR). The intervention will be evaluated over time, using linked administrative data sets as the foundation of the evaluation.
Link to Project Reports: Constructing a Comprehensive and Competent Criminal Justice/Mental Health/Substance Abuse Treatment System: Strategies for Planning, Leadership, Financing, and Service Development
Media Coverage: NPR: All Things Considered – Nation’s Jails Struggle with Mentally Ill Prisoners