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Intercept 2: Initial Detention/Initial Court Hearings


Once an individual is arrested, they have moved to Intercept 2 of the model. At Intercept 2, an individual is detained and faces an initial hearing presided over by a judge or magistrate.

Intercept 2 Overview

  • Involves people with mental and substance use disorders who have been arrested and are going through intake, booking, and an initial hearing with a judge or magistrate.
  • Supports policies that allow bonds to be set to enable diversion to community-based treatment and services.
  • Includes post-booking release programs that route people into community-based programs.

Key Elements for Diversion at Intercept 2

  • Screening for mental and substance use disorders. Using validated screening instruments for mental and substance use disorders allows jails to identify people with mental and substance use disorders. Once they are identified, these individuals can be linked with jail-based or community-based services. Brief screenings can be done for all people entering the system. These screenings can be conducted by non-clinical staff at jail booking, in police holding cells, in court lock ups, and prior to the first court appearance. A variety of screening tools exist, but it is important that the tool is validated in the location where it is used to make sure it provides data as intended. Screening every defendant at intake or booking can help jails measure the number of people with mental and substance use disorders entering and cycling through the jails. Example: Brief Jail Mental Health Screen (BJMHS) (PDF | 206 KB)
  • Data matching involves linking information that different systems have on an individual. Data matching between the jail and community-based behavioral health providers can help develop diversion options that account for all of a person’s needs. It can also help determine if newly arrested people have received behavioral health services. If they have, they can then be linked back to existing case managers and resources, improving service delivery.
  • Pretrial supervision and diversion services. Some defendants pose a risk of criminal behavior or failing to appear in court but not to the extent that a jail stay is needed. Pretrial services with specialized mental health services can reduce the need to detain these people. These teams can make sure people with mental and substance use disorders get services in a timely manner and avoid getting worse while waiting for their case to be resolved.
  • Post-booking release. Some programs allow defendants to be released into treatment while a charge is deferred. These programs can improve the individual’s health and social outcomes by reducing the long-term impacts of a jail stay and criminal conviction.

Local Examples at Intercept 2

  • Early Intervention System, Johnson City (KS) and Salt Lake County (UT)
    This data-matching system coordinates information of individuals across multiple service and criminal justice systems. The system uses predictive models to identify people who may come into contact with crisis or justice services. These people are then given preventive services. This project is in early stages of development.
  • Mental Health Investigative Support Team (MHIST) (AZ)
    Specially trained detectives work to identify crimes involving people with potential mental and substance use disorders and to connect them with services. The detectives do this work with help from behavioral health providers, medical practitioners, and the public.
Last Updated
Last Updated: 05/24/2024
Last Updated