Evaluation of the Community Integration Program

Investigators: James OgloffDanny Sullivan, Rachael Fullam, Margaret Nixon, Lillian De Bortoli

Rationale and aims:

  • The Forensicare community integration program (CIP) is funded by Justice Health and provides short term support and linkage assistance to people with serious mental illness leaving the metropolitan remand centre and Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
  • The study intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the service by examining the impact of engaging with the service on recidivism, and crises based mental health services use in mentally disordered offenders. A previous study evaluating the service, using clients referred to CIP between October 2010 and June 2013, resulted in a sample too small to determine meaningful differences between completer and non-completers. To address this the Forensicare executive has directed that the study be extended to include all clients referred to CIP between October 2010 and June 2015. Key research questions include:
    • Are individuals who successfully complete the CIP less likely to offend than others eligible for the voluntary program, but who refuse to participate?
    • Do CIP completers experience lower rates of crisis based contact with mental health services in the period following intervention than those who are eligible and refuse CIP?

Methodology:

  • The cohort includes clients referred to the CIP between October 2010 and June 2015. Clients are classified by as CIP completers (Clients referred to the CIP and completed an episode of care) and CIP non-completers (Clients referred to the CIP and withdrew from the program prior to successful completion or those who refused to engage)
  • Data Linkage methodology links Forensicare data with Department of Health mental health service use, Victoria Police offending data, and Corrections Victoria incarceration data.
  • CIP completers and non-completers are compared over the pre and post incarceration time period.