Evaluating the Efficiency and Community Safety Goals of the Broward County Mental Health Court

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Mental health courts have developed as one response to persons with mental illness who are involved with the criminal justice system. This study investigated the efficiency and safety goals of one such court in Broward County, FL. Mental health court (MHC) clients spent significantly fewer days in jail for the index arrest associated with study enrollment than a comparison group. MHC clients had similar survival time to re-arrest up to one year after study enrollment. MHC clients did not significantly differ from the comparison group in selfreported aggressive acts over an 8 month follow-up period, while they did self-report significantly fewer acts of violence than the comparison group at the 8 month follow-up. These findings suggest that some of the benefits associated with the MHC reported in prior studies were not achieved at the expense of efficiency and safety.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Behavioral Sciences & The Law, v. 23, issue 2, p. 227-243