CHICAGO SOUTHSIDE EARLY DIVERSION PROGRAM
GRANT PROJECT ABSTRACT
The Chicago Southside Early Diversion Program (CSEDP) aims to divert and prevent 375 people, over five years, with serious mental illness (SMI) or co-occurring disorder (COD) who have experienced or are at high risk of experiencing mental health crises, from detention and connect them to community-based behavioral health treatment. The target area is Chicago Police Department (CPD) Districts 4, 5, 6, 7, and 22, areas within South Chicago that disproportionately experience SMI and substance use disorder. In 2017, 26% (5,270) of all mental-health related dispatches occurred in the target area. In 2014, the rate of hospitalization due to substance use or mental health disorders within the target area was 195.4 per 100,000 persons, while the rate in Chicago was 176.3 per 100,000. The target population largely consists of minorities and those who are economically disadvantaged and disconnected from care—27.6% of individuals live below the poverty line and 16.5% do not have insurance. The total population is about 500,000 people, and 10.4% are Non-Hispanic White, 78.6% Non-Hispanic Black, 0.5% Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander, and 9.3% Hispanic. About 5% of people within the target population are foreign-born and 3.6% have limited English proficiency. In Chicago, 4% of adults identify as gay or lesbian, the number identifying as transgender or bi-sexual is insignificant.
The CSEDP has three main goals: (1) strengthen the existing infrastructure that is responsible for coordinating, developing, planning, supporting, and providing effective early intervention services for individuals who are at risk of detention due to behavioral health disorders, (2) improve the identification and response to individuals who are experiencing mental health crises and determined to have an SMI or COD to divert them from the criminal-justice system to community-based services, and (3) reduce recidivism among program participants through the provision of evidence-based models and practices. To achieve these goals, we will foster partnerships among CCHHS, Cook County Government’s criminal justice system, the CPD, the Behavioral Health Consortium (BHC) (a group of 12 behavioral health providers), and the University of Chicago Health Lab, creating an interagency group to guide the CSEDP, identify infrastructural needs, and develop and implement a plan to address those needs. In addition, the CSEDP will employ the Recovery Support Model, specifically Recovery Coaching. The program will include evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication-assisted treatment. For other behavioral health treatment, CSEDP will engage with the BHC who offers services that span the entire continuum of care. We hope to serve 75 individuals per year, totaling 375 throughout the lifetime of the project. Through evaluation and data collection, CSEDP will implement any necessary changes to ensure quality throughout the program, and at the close of the program, discuss best practices and strategies to ensure sustainability. Through the CSEDP, the CSEDP partners will help decrease the jail population and ensure that those with SMI and COD receive the treatment they need.