Lessons from a Canadian province: Examining collaborations between the mental health and justice sectors

Carolyn S Dewa, Lucy Trojanowski, Chiachen Cheng, Frank Sirotich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this paper was to identify the factors that program developers perceived as important to the successful collaboration between the mental health and justice sectors in seven Ontario, Canada, post-booking programs. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews with developers of the programs in each region were conducted. Key informants were identified using a snowball technique. All transcripts were analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Results: The primary themes identified involved partnership development, adjustment to broader mandates and addressing ongoing challenges. Conclusions were validated through member checking. Conclusions: The findings highlight important considerations for cross-ministerial enterprises. If partnerships are constructed within the existing parameters of systems, the system with the most flexibility will be required to work around its partner's constraints. The role of the adapter could be acknowledged by having the funding flow through the adapter's system. Program development will involve a significant time investment including activities to become part of both systems' culture through education, establishing a presence and identifying boundary spanners. Long-run implications for both systems should also be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Community mental health
  • Court support programs
  • Criminal justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Lessons from a Canadian province: Examining collaborations between the mental health and justice sectors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this