Monday, April 09, 2007

Pinching Pennies, Counting Costs

This is just a quick post to put up a link to an article I just stumbled over about the cost efficacy of mental health courts. It's the first data to be published about this and it just came out this month. The first link is to the summary, the second link is where you can download the Rand Corporation's full report.

They basically report that for the one mental health court that was studied the costs of treatment versus incarceration break even over the two year study period. The jail costs declined, but the treatment costs increased to offset it up until the last two quarters of the two year study period. There was an overall cost savings in the final two quarters that was statistically significant. There was no increase in risk to public safety (no surprise there really since these courts usually don't take violent offenders).