Abstract: Comparing Mental Health Needs and Service Provision between ICE-Detained and Non-ICE-Detained in a Midwest, Urban County Jail (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

87P Comparing Mental Health Needs and Service Provision between ICE-Detained and Non-ICE-Detained in a Midwest, Urban County Jail

Thursday, January 12, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Edita Milanovic, LLMSW, Research Assistant, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Catherine Zettner, MSW, Research Assistant, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Trevor Whitehead, MSW, Data Assistant, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Erin Comartin, PhD, Associate Professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Sheryl Kubiak, PhD, Dean & Professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Background and Purpose: People in jails experience higher rates of serious mental illness (SMI) than the general population (Bronson & Berzofsky, 2017; Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 2019). Similarly, people detained in immigration detention centers (IDCs) experience higher rates of psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (Verhülsdonk et al., 2021; Von Werthern et al., 2018). While reasons people are detained in jail typically differ from those for which they are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a subpopulation of those detained by ICE are held in jail rather than IDCs. As little has been researched about this subgroup, our study addresses the question: How do the mental health needs of and service provisions to ICE-detained people compare to non-ICE-detained people held concurrently in jail?

Methods: This exploratory study utilizes administrative data from a Midwest, urban county jail and the jail’s mental health service provider to compare individuals held as ICE detainees (n=79) and non-ICE detainees (n=526), booked 7/13/20-8/24/2020. Bivariate analyses (Chi Square and t-tests) assessed differences between groups across sex, race/ethnicity, age, SMI, history of SMI, psychotropic medication use, jail-based mental health service referrals to a provider, and service provision. Mental health (MH) was assessed at booking using the Kessler-6, which has been validated in jail populations (Kubiak et al., 2010; 2012) and includes six questions utilizing a 5-category scale to measure psychological distress and detect functional impairment (Kessler et al, 2002; 2003). Scores of 9 or above were considered as indicating SMI

Results: ICE detainees were older on average (M=37.9, SD=12.399) than non-ICE detainees (M=34.7, SD=11.017; t(97.39)=-2.194, p=.031). A greater proportion of ICE detainees were male (96.2%, n=76) than non-ICE detainees (75.5%, n=397; χ2(1)=17.299, p<.001) and Hispanic/Latino (85.7%, n=66 vs 3.4%, n=17); χ2(4)=380.103, p<.001); and a smaller proportion’s Kessler-6 results indicated SMI (5.1%, n=4 vs 33.8%, n=178; χ2(1)=27.043, p<.001). A smaller proportion of ICE detainees reported receiving treatment for a psychiatric or emotional condition (2.5%, n=2 vs 27.9%, n=143; χ2(1)=23.775, p<.001); receiving MH services in the past month (2.5%, n=2 vs 12.6%, n=65; χ2(1)=6.924, p=.009); and currently taking any psychotropic medications (3.8%, n=3 vs 16.1%, n=83; χ2(1)=8.338, p=.004). Among those identified with SMI, no difference in referral rates nor in rates of service provision between ICE-detained and non-ICE-detained was determined.

Conclusions and Implications: Limited to a single cohort, this study found ICE-detained people held in jail to report a lower SMI rate than their non-ICE-detained counterpart. MH of the ICE-detained in this jail cohort does not appear to resemble that of the average ICE detainee detained in an IDC; whether that may be due to compromised ability to accurately self-report given an English-language screening, ICE selection criteria determining detainment location undisclosed to the researchers, an unwillingness to accurately self-report in the jail setting compared to IDC setting, and/or otherwise, requires further research to posit. More racially/ethnically diverse samples as well as multilingual screening materials are needed in future studies to determine the relationship of these factors with outcomes.