Bureau of Justice Assistance

Integrate Routine Screening for Substance Use and Misuse and Co-occurring Disorders into Key Points in the Criminal Justice System

Abstract: Routine screening for substance use and misuse and co-occurring disorders at all intercepts of the criminal justice system is an effective way of making an initial determination about the presence of behavioral disorders and connecting an individual to further assessment and services. Universal screening for substance use disorders by staff members at jail booking, police holding cells, court lockups, and prior to the first court appearance offers a critical opportunity to identify options for diversion. Ensuring that information from screening and assessments is used for clinical decision making and reentry planning can support individuals in achieving recovery goals and reduce the likelihood of overdose post-release.