A new analysis from the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, CRISP, examines how mental health and substance abuse influence crime on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside.
The IU Public Policy Institute’s CRISP worked with the John Boner Center to create the report. For the project, researchers interviewed residents, youth, social service providers and criminal justice workers.
CRISP Research Coordinator Kelsie Stringham-Marquis says they compiled information about mental health and substance abuse.
"Not only how those two factors interplay, but also how larger community-wide issues play into development of co-occurring disorders," says Stringham-Marquis.
Findings showed a diversity of perceptions but agreed the issues are common in the area. But instances of violent crime and mental health calls were not as closely connected. The report also highlighted gaps in social services and awareness of existing programs.
"We heard from criminal justice professionals that they often wanted to help but didn't have a good awareness of where to send people," says Stringham-Marquis.
It was funded by the US Department of Justice Community Based Crime Reduction project.