Mental Health & Probation

SDP is excited to announce a new collaborative study with the Cook County Illinois Adult Probation Department that will implement an evidence-based screening tool to respond to probationers’ mental health needs.

The Smart Decarceration Project at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration is bridging research and practice to reduce the over reliance on incarceration while addressing the racial and behavioral health disparities in the criminal justice system. Generating real-world evidence in close collaboration with local and national stakeholders, the Smart Decarceration Project seeks to reduce the use of incarceration by developing interventions that deliver tangible impact, informing the next generation of criminal justice policies and programs, and spearheading a cross-sector movement sustained by transdisciplinary dialogue.

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Mass incarceration is unprecedented

 At year-end 2016, nearly

2.2 million

people were incarcerated in jails and prisons in the US.

The US accounts for 4%

of the world’s populationbut

over  20% of the world’s prisoners.

Mass Incarceration has

unequal effects

African Americans make up

33% of US prisoners,

but only

 12% of the US population

Rates of substance abuse and mental illness

are  3-7 times higher

in prisons and jails.

Mass Incarceration is


Just over

75% of prisoners

are rearrested within 5 years.

 Annual cost to maintain

mass incarceration

is over

$180 billion.