Programs Provided - Clinics and Processes
The Mosaic substance abuse program is having a measurable impact on Maricopa County’s moderate to high risk jail population.
Statistics for 2017 show, Mosaic participants had a recidivism rate approximately 20% below two control groups of county inmates who shared similar struggles with substance misuse but did not go through the program.
“We believed it was going to work but we really had to see the proof,” said Dr. Dawn Noggle, who until June 2019 served as Correctional Health’s Mental Services Director. “20% reduction in recidivism for a moderate to high risk group is considered very, very good.”
Mosaic is a 7-week program run by Correctional Health Services that looks at an inmate’s entire experience--including trauma in their past— and then teaches them ways to deal with the emotions associated with it. The idea is to give them skills to replace the substance.
“We were early readers that trauma is really what underlies all of this. So we were addressing trauma as a significant component of Mosaic before it was getting discussed as broadly as it is now,” said Noggle.
The program targets people who tend to return to jail over and over again. In 2017, 42% of Mosaic participants were in jail on drug-related charges; 23% were recently homeless; and 11% were identified as seriously mentally ill. This is not an easy population to reach, or keep from coming back.
“One of the programs that they say is impactful to them is the parenting group,” Noggle said. “And that’s exciting. We might not have initially thought that.”
Dr. Noggle believes future Mosaic classes may see even greater reductions in recidivism because of the additional support services participants have available before and upon release, including connections to affordable housing.
Competency Evaluation - Contract Administration
Correctional Health Services (CHS) Forensic Services administers and manages contracted Mental Health Experts who provide forensic psychological services for the Court. Mental Health Experts can be either Psychologists or Psychiatrists, and they perform a variety of forensic psychological services for the Court, the most frequent of which are Rule 11 competency evaluations.
Rule 11 is the Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure that governs competency evaluations. The Rule 11 process is usually initiated by defense counsel. In the Rule 11 process, Mental Health Experts are court-ordered to meet with the defendant, conduct a competency evaluation, review records, and write a report rendering an opinion as to the legal competency status of the defendant. Defendants who are found Competent in the Rule 11 process can proceed with their criminal case. “Competent” is a legal standard that indicates the defendant understands the nature of the courtroom proceedings and is able to assist in their own defense.
Restoration to Competency (RTC)
Defendants who are found Incompetent to proceed with their criminal case during the Rule 11 process are usually admitted to the Restoration to Competency (RTC) program. The RTC program may occur in custody at the jails or out of custody. Defendants are court-ordered to participate in the RTC program. The goal of the RTC program is to restore the defendant to legal competency to resume criminal proceedings. Defendants in the RTC program are assigned to a forensic team, which includes a Mental Health Expert and a Forensic Restoration Specialist. Forensic Restoration Specialists conduct legal education sessions with defendants for the purpose of restoration. The Mental Health Expert is ultimately responsible for writing a report rendering a final opinion on the defendant’s legal competency status for the Court. Defendants who are found Competent in the RTC program can proceed with their criminal case.
Rule 11 and RTC are forensic, and separate from any mental health treatment a defendant might be receiving from clinical providers.
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