Men and women who frequently cycle through the criminal justice, healthcare, and social service systems pose a disproportionate burden on these systems and a high cost to taxpayers. Further, their interactions with these systems are often driven by co-occurring mental health and substance use problems—problems that jails are frequently ill-equipped to appropriately treat in a way that will meaningfully address their needs or reduce their risk of recidivism. Although piecemeal studies have examined this population at the local level, there has yet to be a comprehensive analysis of the issue across multiple jurisdictions.

With support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, ISLG is working with ten jurisdictions across the country to create a national profile of these “frequent utilizers” of criminal justice, health, and other services. ISLG will also identify integrated system responses and services that effectively serve frequent utilizers and create an inventory of promising practices. Through this work, ISLG seeks to identify approaches to slow the revolving door of frequent utilization that will reduce the burden on systems and minimize harm to individuals.

For more information, please contact Victoria Lawson at