In the course of our research on the prevalence of behavioral health conditions and their relationships with recidivism and types of charges, we provide county sheriffs with the aggregate results from their institutions on prevalence rates of mental health and substance use disorders. One sheriff circulated our report to community leaders, including county commissioners, to document the high prevalence of stimulant and opioid disorders and the fact that a third of the inmates had been injecting one or both of those drugs on a regular basis – a serious public health issue. The data also documented that those with serious stimulant and/or opioid diagnoses cost the county more in incarceration costs due to recidivism. His data provided support for almost a dozen initiatives, including a counselor in the homeless shelter located next to the jail, having every officer carry NARCAN, and more deputies for community policing. A sheriff in another state used his data to support a request to the state legislature for funding of a behavioral health initiative in his county. Not only are we able to generate important scientific and clinical information, but the findings are also supporting valuable initiatives in the local community.
We would love to hear about ways in which you share your research and/or clinical work to the broader community. Please limit responses to 200 words.