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Research Shows Inconsistencies in Jail Mental Health Assessment Tool

Aug 05 2019
When individuals are booked into a county jail they are commonly evaluated for current psychiatric symptoms and mental health history using the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS). To test the reliability of the BJMHS, researchers analyzed 3.5 years of data from a single large jail. The analysis showed that a person who had been booked into the jail and screened multiple times was more likely to be referred for further evaluation and treatment with each additional screening — and not because of different answers. This indicates that the BJMHS may be sensitive to reporting bias, and therefore not a consistently reliable tool. To learn more, please see the study abstract.