Effectiveness of Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Services for Offenders With Mental Disorders: A Review

David A. Scott, Sinead McGilloway, Martin Dempster, Fred Browne, Michael Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The authors evaluated and synthesised the best-available evidence relating to the effectiveness of CJLD service models with respect to changes in mental health status and/or criminal recidivism.Methods: Research examining the effectiveness of CJLD services when compared to traditional Criminal Justice System (CJS) responses was reviewed and systematically appraised according to Campbell/Cochrane guidelines. Key outcomes included a reduction in offending and post-intervention changes in mental health. Results: Comprehensive searches of published and unpublished literature identified 6571 studies which varied considerably in terms of their methodological approach and overall quality. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The synthesised findings indicated that, when compared to traditional CJS outcomes, CJLD services appeared to be effective in terms of identifying MDOs and impacting positively on criminal justice and mental health outcomes.Conclusions: Although the evidence may be deemed to be moderate in terms of methodological rigour, overall, the findings suggest that CJLD services can be beneficial. The effectiveness of services depends upon the model of service delivery, the availability of community services and the engagement of MDOs.The successful implementation of CJLD services requires a clearer recognition of the importance of system of care principles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-849
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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