The Center for Court Innovation has released an evaluation of QUEST Futures, a program that provides intensive case management and family support services for young people with mental health problems facing delinquency charges in Queens.
The results suggest that the program has been effective at reducing re-offending. Using a quasi-experimental design, the study found that participants averaged significantly fewer total re-arrests and felony re-arrests than the comparison group.
In a companion study, researchers from the Center for Court Innovation conducted an analysis of mental health problems among 800 participants in alternative-to-detention programs in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Using a validated screening tool, half of the sample was identified as having signs of a mental disorder, and close to four in 10 showed multiple disorders. (The most commonly flagged disorders were mania, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and marijuana abuse.)
The Center for Court Innovation has a long track record of trying to improve outcomes for individuals with mental health issues who find themselves enmeshed in the justice system. This includes helping to plan and implement the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, which, according to independent evaluators from the Urban Institute, helped reduce recidivism among adult participants. For more information, or to request assistance, please click here.
Download a fact sheet about QUEST Futures.
Listen to a podcast with the author of the report.