Implementing a Treatment for People with Serious Mental Illness in Jail: A Mixed-Methods Study of Stakeholder Perspectives on Feasibility and Acceptability.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Administration and policy in mental health


washington; swedish


People with mental illness are over-represented in the U.S. criminal legal system. Jail presents an optimal opportunity to provide needed mental health care as the entry point to corrections. However, there is a lack of programming available in jails, which may be partly due to limited understanding of how to successfully implement interventions in this complex setting. We implemented a nine-session psychotherapeutic intervention for people with serious mental illness in a county jail. As part of a larger implementation-effectiveness hybrid study, we gathered mixed-methods data from stakeholders (treatment recipients and jail administrators) on the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention's implementation. In focus group discussions and qualitative interviews, treatment recipients (n = 29) provided qualitative and quantitative data on their perceptions of the implementation's feasibility and acceptability. Jail administrators (n = 6) completed two quantitative self-report measures on their perceptions of the treatment's feasibility and acceptability. Qualitative analyses were conducted by two coders using inductive thematic template analysis; seven global themes relating to treatment recipients' perceptions of the assets and hindrances to feasibility and acceptability were developed and are presented with supporting quotations. Quantitatively, all treatment recipients endorsed the intervention's feasibility (100%), and nearly all (97%) endorsed its acceptability. On both self-report measures, jail administrators' mean scores fell above a-priori thresholds indicating feasibility and acceptability. We found qualitative and quantitative support for the use of this intervention in jail from both sets of stakeholders. These results have implications for clinical service and policy in jail, where service providers struggle to meet the considerable demand for mental health services.

Clinical Institute

Mental Health


Behavioral Health


Population Health