The Sequential Intercept Model

The Sequential Intercept Model was developed by Mark R. Munetz, MD and Patricia A. Griffin PhD in conjunction with the GAINS Center.  The Sequential Intercept Model provides a conceptual framework for communities to organize targeted strategies for criminal or juvenile justice system-involved individuals who may have a serious mental illness, substance abuse disorder, and/or co-occurring disorder.  This model identifies five key points for "intercepting" or interacting with individuals who have behavioral health issues and links them to services therefore preventing further penetration into the criminal justice system. This model builds on collaboration between the criminal or juvenile justice and behavioral health systems and highlights points of access to intercept individuals as they enter and advance through the criminal/juvenile justice system. Moreover, the model helps to identify critical decision-makers who can authorize diversion and movement away from the justice system and into treatment; and delineates essential partnerships among mental health, substance abuse, law enforcement, pretrial services, courts, judges, jails, community corrections, social services, and others (SAMHSA's GAINS Center & Policy Research Associates Inc., 2009).

CJMHSA Reinvestment Grant Program's Sequential Intercept Mapping 

The Criminal Justice, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Technical Assistance Center (CJMHSA TAC) received Sequential Intercept Mapping Facilitator Training by Mr. Dan Abreu and Dr. Patricia Griffin of Policy Research Associates Inc. By June 2017, the CJMHSA TAC will have conducted 29 SIM workshops.

The CJMHSA Reinvestment Grant Program map which is displayed at the bottom of the "About Us/Center History" page as well as linked by the heading above displays the geographic location of counties in which the CJMHSA TAC has conducted Sequential Intercept Mappings (through May 2016).  On that map, the mappings are indicated with a red star.  Also, represented on the map are the CJMHSA Reinvestment Grantees (grants announced at the end of 2016 and awarded in early 2017).   

The Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM) Workshop

The SIM workshop has three primary objectives:

  1. Development of a comprehensive map of how individuals with substance abuse and mental health (SAMH) disorders flow through five distinct intercept points of the county's criminal justice system: Law Enforcement and Emergency Services, Initial Detention and First Appearance, Jails and Courts, Reentry, and Community Corrections.
  2. Identification of resources, gaps in services, and opportunities at each intercept for individuals with SAMH disorders involved in the criminal justice system (target population).
  3. Development of priorities to improve the system and service level responses for individuals in the target population.

Following the mapping workshop, the CJMHSA TAC prepares the SIM Report. The report includes a narrative and a visual "map" of the county's criminal justice system as it relates to individuals with SAMH disorders, and an Action Plan to address the identified gaps in the community. The narrative reflects information gathered during the two-day workshop, often verbatim from the participants or local experts. The narrative should be used as a reference in reviewing the SIM map. The participants develop the Action Plan, based on the SIM workshop discussion and the priority areas identified by the group. The action planning process promotes the development of specific objectives and action steps related to each of the priority areas. The plan specifies the individuals responsible for implementation of each action step and a reasonable time frame for completion of identified tasks.

Additional Resources Related to the Sequential Intercept Model 

The Sequential Intercept Model (SAMHSA's GAINS Center & Policy Research Associates, Inc., 2017)

The Sequential Intercept Model (SAMHSA's GAINS Center & Policy Research Associates, Inc., 2007)

SIM-plementation: Applying the Sequential Intercept Model to Local Planning and Action (SAMHSA's GAINS Center, November 2017)

Data Collection Across the Sequential Intercept Model: Essential Measures (SAMHSA's GAINS Center, 2019)

Justice Summit Sequential Intercept Mapping Presentation (Florida Smart Justice Alliance, 2015)

Plenary presentation by Mark Engelhardt at the Smart Justice Summit in December 2015

 Intercept 0

Intercept 0 was introduced as an additional intercept in the Sequential Intercept Model in December 2016. The goal of Intercept 0 is to align systems and services and connect individuals in need, with treatment before a behavioral health crisis begins or at the earliest possible stage of system interaction (SAMHSA's GAINS Center & Policy Research Associates, Inc., 2016). 

The 21st Century Cures Act & the Sequential Intercept Model

"The 21st Century Cures Act & the Sequential Intercept Model info-graphic linked above maps select provisions of the law along the Sequential Intercept Model, from improving mental health crisis de-escalation training for first responders in Intercept 0 to expanded offender reentry programming in Intercept 4 and Intercept 5. This info-graphic was designed to assist community stakeholders in understanding the resources and opportunities that may become available to them to reduce the justice involvement of people with behavioral health conditions.  The 21st Century Cures Act expanded the mandate of many initiatives to better address people with behavioral health conditions and resulted in new initiatives such as DOJ's Mental Health and Drug Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Program. One of the provisions of PL 114-225, in fact, was to acknowledge the value of the Sequential Intercept Model, especially the mapping workshops, as a strategic planning tool available to communities for identifying gaps, resources, and opportunities to divert people from the justice system into behavioral health services" (SAMHSA's GAINS Center & Policy Research Associates, Inc., 2017).