Technology Enabled Mental Health Intervention for Individuals in the Criminal Justice System A1

Period of Performance: 05/15/2017 - 04/30/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Principal Investigator


In the United States, over 2.2 million people are incarcerated. While these numbers are alarming, even more distressing is the rapid growth in the number of mentally ill individuals caught in this system. Within any given year, approximately 73% of females and 55% of males in jail will experience a mental health problem. This results in the criminal justice system serving as a de facto mental health treatment facility for hundreds of thousands of individuals, despite constrained funding and a paucity of qualified providers and interventions. More than one in five jails have no access to mental health services. There is strong evidence that technology-enabled interventions for the treatment of mood disorders are efficacious and cost effective. Technology-enabled mental health care has many strengths, including the ability to deliver treatment reliably, increase privacy for those seeking services, and provide a scalable evidence-based intervention at a lower cost than traditional face-to-face services. Edovo has previously developed secure tablet hardware, protected networks and a learning management system that deliver static content in the areas of academic, job skill, and life skill programming to those incarcerated. The aim of this project is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a dynamic intervention for the treatment of inmates with mood disorders utilizing the Edovo system. A user centered design approach will be used to modify existing evidence-based, technology-enabled mood interventions to be appropriate for the incarcerated population. Software will be modified to run the intervention on the existing Edovo system. The resulting intervention will be tested in a sample of inmates for an initial clinical signal. The development of such a technology would help correctional facilities more effectively meet their treatment requirements and rehabilitation goals, and help Edovo more successfully commercialize through a stronger evidence base for impact on mental health and increased scores on responses to Requests for Proposal.