Creating Disparity Impact Statements to Optimize Early Diversion in Reducing Disparities

SAMHSA GAINS centerThis report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s GAINS Center explains the ways in which disparity impact statements can measure and inform how different services across behavioral health and criminal justice systems can be delivered to, and received by, underserved groups within the general population. These statements clarify what inequalities exist and outline plans to ensure that groups experiencing the disparities can attain the same level of access, quality of care, and positive outcomes as others in the served population. Because implicit bias and other factors that increase the exclusion of certain groups—including different cultures or ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations—may persist in the face of general measures, it is important to plan for and clearly outline how early diversion programming will be leveraged specifically to address disparities.