Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Frequently Asked Questions

How can we be sure that we're accurately identifying individuals with mental illnesses entering our jail or prison?

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has funded two groups to develop screening instruments for jails. Both instruments have psychometric properties, with low rates of false positives and false negatives that allow for the detection of individuals who warrant additional assessment for mental disorders. The Brief Jail Mental Health Screen, developed by Policy Research Associates, can be used as a screening instrument for both men and women. The Correctional Mental Health Screen, developed by researchers at the University of Connecticut, provides separate instruments for men and women. See NIJ's Mental Health Screens for Corrections to learn more about the instruments.


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