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Mental Health Assessment: Screening Tools

While screening can include a wide range of activities (e.g., laboratory tests, genetic screening), in the criminal justice system screening typically refers to a brief, but systematic process to aid in the detection of mental illness. Screening tools can often be administered by nonmental health professionals, including correctional officers. They may also be self-report questionnaires, which can be completed either by paper or on a computer. They are not intended to make a diagnosis, rather they aim to distinguish persons who likely have an illness from those who are unlikely to have an illness. Individuals who screen positive should be seen by a mental health professional for a full assessment to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan as appropriate.

People with mental illness are overrepresented ...

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