Our Grants

Behavioral Health and Criminal Legal System Interactions of ERPO Respondents: A Statewide Mixed-Methods Study

Overview

This project will characterize circumstances of extreme risk protection order (EPRO) petitions when a respondent is ordered to undergo a behavioral health evaluation or arrested, identify factors influencing decision-making processes for ordering a behavioral health evaluation or arresting ERPO respondents, and examine changes in behavioral health and criminal legal system encounters before and after becoming an ERPO respondent.

Status

Awarded

Purpose

ERPO respondents’ interactions with the criminal legal and behavioral health systems may perpetuate a cycle of entanglement with these systems or serve as intervention points to address root causes of crisis. This project seeks to improve our understanding of ERPO implementation by characterizing interactions of respondents with these systems.

Approach

We will use all ERPO records in Washington State during 2016-2023 to address the following aims: [1] Generate pen portraits in narrative formats to characterize circumstances of EPRO petitions when a respondent is ordered to undergo a behavioral health evaluation or arrested; [2] Examine how behavioral health and criminal legal system encounters change among ERPO respondents over time using longitudinal variable-centered and person-centered quantitative approaches; and [3] Conduct semi-structured interviews with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges to identify factors influencing decision-making processes in ordering a behavioral health evaluation or arresting ERPO respondents. hodologic guidelines for similar evaluations in other settings using a formal causal inference approach.

Significance

The knowledge gained by this project will inform judicial decisions, guide policy change, and enable more effective interventions related to ERPOs leading to broader goals of enhancing public safety, improving public health, and providing long-term support for respondents' well-being.

Investigator Bio

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar is the Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence, professor of epidemiology, and adjunct professor of public policy and governance at the University of Washington where he directs the Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program. His work integrates data from the healthcare system, civil legal system, and criminal justice system to inform equitable actions that prevent firearm-related harm. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2023.

Grant Amount
$349,892
Award Type
Research
Organization
University of Washington
Investigator
Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence, professor of epidemiology, and adjunct professor of public policy and governance at the University of Washington.
Expected Completion Date
March 2026
Awarded
2024
Focus Areas
ERPOs