Forensic Mental Health : Framing Integrated Solutions book cover
1st Edition

Forensic Mental Health
Framing Integrated Solutions

ISBN 9781138935396
Published March 3, 2017 by Routledge
314 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Forensic Mental Health: Framing Integrated Solutions describes a criminal justice–mental health nexus that touches every population—juvenile and adult male and female offenders, probationers and parolees, the aging adult prison population, and victims of crime. In the United States today, the criminal justice system functions as a mental health provider, but at great cost to society. The author summarizes the historical roots of this crisis and provides an overview of mental illness and symptoms, using graphics to illustrate the most prevalent disorders encountered by police and other first responders. Bratina demonstrates in detail how the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) supports integration of the U.S. healthcare and justice systems to offer more positive outcomes for offenders with mental illness.

This book takes a multidisciplinary approach, addressing social work, psychology, counseling, and special education, and covers developments such as case-law related to the right to treatment and trauma-informed care. Designed for advanced undergraduates, this text also serves as a training resource for practitioners working with the many affected justice-involved individuals with mental illness, including juveniles, veterans, and substance abusers.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1— An Overview of the Mental Health–Criminal Justice Nexus
Mental Health: An Introduction to Disorders, Prevalence, and Common Terminology
Intersections of Criminal Justice and Mental Health: Forensic/Justice-Involved PwMI
Service Utilization/Treatment Engagement
Competing Interests? Challenges in Managing Justice-Involved PwMI
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 2— Historical Responses to Mental Illness
Advancements in Psychosurgery
Societal Responses to Mental Illness: Thematic Eras
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 3— The Sequential Intercept Model
Why Diversion?
Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System: An Integrative Framework
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 4—Foundations of Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Community Mental Health Act
Comprehensive Assessment
Mental Health Disorders
Substance Use Disorders
Co-occurring Disorders
Working with Juveniles
Medication Management
Case Examples
Sidebar: My Experience
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 5— Intercept One: Police–Citizen Encounters
Police as First Responders
Specialized Police Responses to Crisis Events
Additional Complexities of LEO–Citizen Encounters: Responding to Special Populations
The Mental Health and Well-Being of Police
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 6— Intercept Two: Pretrial Issues, Adjudication, and Sentencing/Jail
Post-Booking Diversion: An Overview
Diversion Strategies
Determining Diversion Program Effectiveness
Processing and Disposition
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 7— Intercept Three: Secure Confinement and Court
Part One: Beyond Initial Detention—PwMI Incarcerated
Part Two: Diversion Strategies at Intercept Three
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 8— Intercept Four: Reentry to the Community from Secure Detention
Section One: Reentry for PwMI
Section Two: Effective Reintegration and the Role of Professional Service Providers
Section Three: Best Practices in Reentry Programming for PwMI
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 9— Intercept Five: Community-Based Corrections and Support Services
Mental Health and Community Corrections
Summary of Post-Commitment Needs
Agency Collaboration and Systems Integration
Resistance to Treatment
Take-Home Message

CHAPTER 10— Conclusions and Suggestions for Change
Review of the Issues and Suggestions for Change
Contemporary Issues in Forensic Mental Health: The Role of Trauma
Take-Home Message


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Michele P. Bratina is an Assistant Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was the Forensic and Children’s Mental Health Coordinator for the Florida Department of Children and Families in the 19th Judicial Circuit—a role that inspired this book. She is Past President of the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (NEACJS) Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and holds the position of Executive Counselor for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) Juvenile Justice Section. Her research interests and publications revolve around issues related to human exploitation, criminological theory, race, social structure, ethnicity and crime, and forensic mental health. She has published her work in the Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice and in the International Journal of Police Science and Management.


The way we handle mental health and mental illness in our society is neither fair nor effective. We have dumped so much of it onto the criminal justice system, which isn't any good for people who need treatment; it also puts police and correctional officers in impossible situations where they are bound to fail, sometimes tragically. Professor Bratina and the other contributors to this book do a fine job of dissecting the current situation and describing solutions that would greatly improve the terrible mess our negligence has created.--Gary Cordner, Professor Emeritus, Kutztown University