Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

First-Episode Psychosis and the Criminal Justice System: Using a Sequential Intercept Framework to Highlight Risks and Opportunities


In first-episode psychosis there is a heightened risk of aggression and subsequent criminal justice involvement. This column reviews the evidence pointing to these heightened risks and highlights opportunities, using a sequential intercept model, for collaboration between mental health services and existing diversionary programs, particularly for patients whose behavior has already brought them to the attention of the criminal justice system. Coordinating efforts in these areas across criminal justice and clinical spheres can decrease the caseload burden on the criminal justice system and optimize clinical and legal outcomes for this population.