Local Evaluation Report for Los Angeles County's Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction (MIOCR) Program

by Sarah B. Hunter, Maya Buenaventura, Matthew Cefalu

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Research Question

  1. Did Los Angeles County's Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction program achieve its intended outcomes of reducing recidivism and improving outcomes for individuals suffering from mental health disorders who are returning to the community after incarceration?

Recidivism is common among individuals who have been incarcerated in Los Angeles County, and the risks increase for those who suffer from mental health disorders and other health care conditions. To reduce the risk of recidivism and improve outcomes for individuals suffering from mental health disorders who are returning to the community after incarceration, California issues Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction [MIOCR] program grants to communities to address the unique needs of these individuals. In 2015, Los Angeles County was awarded a three-year grant to provide jail in-reach and reentry services to individuals experiencing tri-morbid conditions (i.e., physical health, mental health, and substance use disorders) who were preparing for reentry into the community. This report represents the evaluation of Los Angeles County's MIOCR grant program.

Ninety-eight individuals were enrolled into one of the three different community reentry service pathways: (1) assistance for individuals with mental illness who can live independently in the community with additional support, (2) supportive housing coupled with intensive case management, or (3) residential substance use treatment. On average, participants who completed the one-year program maintained or improved their reported mental health and substance use status. Program graduates also demonstrated improvements in health care insurance status, benefit establishment, and housing stability. Data on criminal justice involvement show fewer convictions in the post-enrollment period than in the pre-enrollment period. However, 60 percent of program participants dropped out of the program before the one-year mark, and follow-up surveys with program dropouts were not conducted.

Key Findings

Results of Los Angeles County's Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction program

  • Los Angeles County was successful in its goal to recruit 90 participants into the program: 98 participants were enrolled during the grant period.
  • Program retention rates for the one-year program were modest: 30 participants completed the program and 45 dropped out. Twenty-three participants had not reached the one-year program mark at the time of grant end date.
  • On average, participants who completed the one-year program maintained or improved their reported mental health and substance use status; demonstrated improvements in health care insurance status, benefit establishment, and housing stability; and had fewer convictions in the post-enrollment period than in the pre-enrollment period. Data on criminal justice involvement show fewer convictions in the post-enrollment period than in the pre-enrollment period.
  • However, 60 percent of program participants dropped out of the program before the one-year mark, and follow-up surveys with program dropouts were not conducted.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Project Description

  • Chapter Three

    Evaluation Methods

  • Chapter Four

    Results and Conclusions

  • Appendix

    Further Results

The research described in this report was conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

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