Professor Sheryl Kubiak – Diversion of persons with mental illness from jail: Intervention outcomes across ten county jails

Event type: 
Event date: 
Monday, 26 February 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Berg Family Foundation Seminar Room, Level 6, Wallace Wurth Building, Kensington Campus, UNSW Sydney
Contact for inquiries: 
Rata Joseph, +61 (2) 9385 0900 or
Booking deadline: 

Kirby Institute Seminar Series presents

Professor Sheryl Kubiak

Professor, School of Social Work, Michigan State University, USA

About your speaker

Sheryl Kubiak is currently a Professor at Michigan State University and will begin a position as dean of the School of Social Work at Wayne State University in July of 2018. She earned her M.S.W. in Social Work (1988), and Ph.D. in Psychology (2002) from the University of Michigan. Kubiak’s research interests are at the intersections between criminal/legal systems and behavioral health which began 30 years ago when she developed and administered a long-term residential re-entry program in Detroit for pregnant women addicted to crack cocaine. Since then, Kubiak has received funding from national (NIMH, NSF, NIDA) and state (MDOC, MDHHS) government, as well as foundations (i.e., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skillman, Flinn) to research and evaluate projects such as substance abuse treatment within prisons, mental health courts, and integrated substance abuse and mental health treatment for those involved in the legal system. Currently, she is the PI on a cross-site evaluation of pilot diversion programs statewide (Governor’s Diversion Council) and a prison reentry project for those with opioid addictions. Kubiak is also a gubernatorial appointee to the state’s Criminal Justice Policy Commission.


Within the United States, between a quarter and one third of those entering county jails have a serious mental illness. It has been suggested that using a Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) to identify salient points of intervention across the criminal legal continuum, may be one method of decreasing the number of individual with serious mental illness (SMI) entering local jails. Using this SIM approach, ten counties in Michigan have been working with the Governor’s Diversion Council, the Department of Health and Human Services and a university evaluation team to improve identification of and responses to individuals with SMI involved in the criminal justice system. This presentation details the system and project based evaluations, emphasizing identification, referral, and treatment within jails, as well as outcomes related to recidivism and treatment engagement post release.