Originally published in Community Connections, Winter 2004, the "Jail Diversion" issue

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The National GAINS Center for People with Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System was created in 1995 as a national locus for the collection and dissemination of information about effective mental health and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders who come in contact with the justice system. The Center also provides program information, articles, cross-trainings, information on the variety of jail diversion options through its newest branch, the TAPA Center for Jail Diversion. The GAINS Center website has an extensive list of articles and monographs that can be downloaded. Titles are organized under the following headings: Co-occurring Disorders, Community Guides, Family, Integrating Services, Jail Diversion, Juveniles, Re-entry, Specialty Courts and Women. Materials are available at:

NAMI-NYS has a new handbook: "When a Person with Mental Illness Is Arrested: How to Help." The handbook can be downloaded at the Urban Justice Center site as follows:

The Consensus Project website is devoted to mental health and criminal justice issues. It provides a national data base of programs, fact sheets and articles from all over the country as well as up-to-date news on research and programs. Interested parties can register at this site to receive regular updates in the field.

The booklet, "Finding the Key to Successful Transition from Jail to Community for People with Severe Persistent Mental Illness," published by Bazelon Center provides information and policy positions to help ex-convicts get the services they need to support successful recovery and re-integration into the community. Contains useful information about which benefits they are eligible for and how to access them. The booklet can be downloaded Bazelon Center’s website free of charge at:

Family and Corrections Network is for and about families of offenders. It offers information, training and technical assistance on children of prisoners, parenting programs for prisoners, prison visiting, incarcerated fathers and mothers, hospitality programs, keeping in touch, returning to the community, the impact of the justice system of families, and prison marriage. With over 140,000 visitors a year, this site is the gateway to practice, policy and research on families of offenders.

The New York State Office of Mental Health and Forensic Mental Health Services is a two unit collaborative effort that addresses the service needs of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system. The Bureau of Forensic Science is located in the Office of Mental Health and is responsible for services provided to persons with mental illness. The Division of Community Care Systems Management provides support to local criminal justice and local mental health systems to enhance appropriate coordination in the community to effectively serve persons with mental illness in the criminal justice system. For more information please visit:

The Urban Justice Center was founded with two primary goals: 1) to make legal services easily accessible to people living on the streets and in poverty, and 2) to make social advocacy and law reform efforts directly responsive to the daily struggles of those individuals. The Urban Justice Center coordinates mental health projects which address systemic problems, they engage in litigation and advocacy for people living with mental illness who are navigating New York City's mental health, psychiatric, welfare, and criminal justice systems. For more information visit:

The National Mental Health Association is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. With more than 340 affiliates nationwide, NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million people with mental disorders, through advocacy, education, research and service. More information is available at:


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