How to Design Services
- Find a Model
- Looking for a comprehensive model to identify and treat youth with mental health and substance abuse needs in contact with the juvenile justice system? See this Blueprint for Change (2007) from Kathleen R. Skowyra and Joseph J. Cocozza, PhD, at the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The document includes detailed descriptions of promising work at the community level.
- Need a quick overview to give legislators? Hand them this brief guidebook (2011) from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Go here for the full juvenile justice guidebook for lawmakers .
- Want to improve your state’s health and mental health systems and improve continuity of care for youth? See what The California Endowment accomplished in this collection of publications and reports (2010) on promising practices.
- How can your community best serve juvenile justice youth through a “systems of care” model? Learn more from the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health.
- How to Implement, Evaluate, and Sustain Programs
- Learn how to choose, implement, evaluate and sustain juvenile justice programs supported by research evidence at the National Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center.
How Many Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Have Mental and Substance Use Issues?
- Review Multi-State Studies
- A nationwide study published in 2010 by Gail A. Wasserman and colleagues, which found “(a) varying mental health needs across settings, (b) prior justice contact relating strongly to need, (c) girls’ unique mental health disorders, and (d) racial/ethnic differences in diagnostic profiles.”
- See also, a 2008 national study of 70,423 youths from 283 juvenile justice probation, detention, or corrections programs by Gina M. Vincent, et. al., that examined the prevalence of mental health issues across sex and race.
- See Jennie L. Shufelt and Joseph J. Cocozza for a comprehensive study of youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system (2006). see, “Youth with Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile Justice System: Results from a Multi-State Prevalence Study.”
- Studies of Special Populations
- For a study of psychiatric disorders found among youth in one large, urban detention center, broken down by gender, race, ethnicity, see Linda Teplin, et.al. (2006).
- For a study of the prevalence of mental health issues among girls at probation intake, see Wasserman, et. al. (2005).
Screening and Assessing Youth in the Juvenile Justice System with Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Issues
- How to Choose the Right Tool and Implement it Well
- You can find an updated list of tools to identify mental health needs and risk to reoffend — and what factors to consider in choosing and implementing them — in this 2011 brief from Dr. Gina Vincent and the Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health.
- For a brief guide to mental health screening in juvenile justice and key issues to implementation and using the results, see this 2007 publication from Models for Change.
- For useful background on the role of screening and assessment in juvenile justice, guidelines for selecting the right screening or assessment tools, and a menu of screening and assessment instruments with basic information about each one, see this 2004 resource guide for practitioners authored by Thomas Grisso and Lee A. Underwood.
- For an in-depth guide, see Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Juvenile Justice (The Guilford Press, 2005), edited by Thomas Grisso, Gina Vincent, and Daniel Seagrave, which reviews mental health screening and assessment tools as well as risk assessment tools and tools for evaluating competence.
- Legal Issues with Screening and Assessing Youth: Protecting their Rights
- See “Protecting the Legal Rights of Youth,” below.
What’s the Right Treatment Program?
- Find Evidence-Based Practices for Prevention, Intervention, and Aftercare
- See these databases of programs rated for effectiveness:
- the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), run by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- a Model Program Guide (MPG) from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
- Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development
- Download a comprehensive list of trauma treatment programs from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- For an in-depth look, see Peter W. Greenwood’s Changing Lives: Delinquency Prevention as Crime-Control Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2006), which analyzes juvenile delinquency prevention programs, identifying those that are evidence-based and those that are ineffective, discussing why ineffective programs sometimes thrive.
- See these databases of programs rated for effectiveness:
- Cost-Benefit Analyses of Evidence-Based Programs
- Use brief reports from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to compare costs and benefits of numerous treatment programs for youth in the justice system.
- See this new adolescent-based treatment database and comparison matrix from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and also see their ‘Juvenile Graduated Sanctions E-Tool’ that provides information on effective programs and services for juvenile justice-involved youth at different intervention levels.
- Divert Youth with Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders from the Juvenile Justice System
- Here’s a general guide from Models for Change to implement effective juvenile diversion programs.
- Review brief information from Models for Change on programs that divert youth with mental health issues in schools, at probation intake, and when they encounter law enforcement.
- To divert youth from secure detention, examine these policy and program briefs from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI); much more information is available at the JDAI Help Desk.
- Treatment Courts
- Drug Treatment Courts
- See the 16 strategies for juvenile drug courts, issued by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in 2003, for a brief history of the drug court movement, an overview of how a juvenile drug court works, and strategies for implementing one.
- The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice developed these “Evidence-Based Practice Recommendations for Juvenile Drug Courts.”
- Drug Treatment Courts
- Mental Health Courts
- For an overview of juvenile mental health courts, particularly focusing on Alameda County’s Collaborative Mental Health Court, see this 2011 report from the National Center for Youth Law.
- In 2012, a national survey of juvenile mental health courts found that these courts are not systematically collecting outcome data.
- See this brief from Models for Change for a quick overview of how mental health services in juvenile justice are paid for.
- Or, see this more thorough review of why access to Medicaid matters for youth in the justice system, and how to improve their coverage; and this study of ways to overcome agency barriers to ensuring eligible youth can get their health and mental health care paid for.
- Go here for specific guidance on funding a wraparound or systems of care model of services
Protecting the Legal Rights of Youth
- Protect Youth from Self-Incrimination During Screening
- For an overview of the issues involved, see this 2012 brief from the Models for Change initiative and this fact sheet from the Training and Advocacy Support Center.
- For an in-depth look at the issue and recommendations for solutions, see the Juvenile Law Center’s Protecting Youth from Self-Incrimination When Undergoing Screening, Assessment and Treatment Within the Juvenile Justice System, from 2007, which calls for more comprehensive statutes and court rules. The publication includes sample statutory language, a sample memorandum of understanding, and detailed profiles of each state’s laws on the protection of this information.
- How to Share Confidential Information
- The Child Welfare League of America and Juvenile Law Center produced a toolkit on information sharing within the juvenile justice system in 2008 – you can download it here. Recorded webinars related to the toolkit can also be found at the same location, along with a presentation on information sharing and federal law.
- For a concise overview of mental heath screening and information sharing, with recommendations: see this 2007 publication from Models for Change.
- Learn what your state laws say about sharing juvenile information and records (updated 2012).
- Evaluating Youth Competency to Stand Trial
- For an in-depth examination of due process issues involved in screening and assessing youth in the juvenile justice system with regard to self-incrimination and competency, see Thomas Grisso’s 2004 book, Double Jeopardy: Adolescent Offenders with Mental Disorders. You can find the executive summary here.
- Dr. Grisso’s 2005 book, Evaluating Juveniles’ Adjudicative Competence: A Guide for Clinical Practice (Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press), provides clinicians with a method to assess a young person’s competence to stand trial.
- Work with Lawmakers to Ensure Youth Are Competent to Stand Trial
- This fact sheet provides an overview of the juvenile court competency issue and a summary of key points in the Models for Change Guide, below.
- For a comprehensive guide, see the 2012 guide from Models for Change, Developing Statutes for Competence to Stand Trial in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings: A Guide for Lawmakers.
Improving Services for Youth with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Needs in the Juvenile Justice System
- Families Make a Difference
- Engaging Families to Ensure Youth Success
- Family members have made comprehensive recommendations about how to build a more effective and family-inclusive juvenile justice system.
- For families: this toolkit from Washington State, A Guidebook for Implementing Juvenile Justice 101, provides justice-involved families with essential information about the juvenile justice system, supports, and community resource connections. Here’s another juvenile justice guide for families from Pennsylvania, and another from Illinois.
- For juvenile justice professionals seeking to increase family involvement at the local and state levels: see “Family Involvement in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System.” See also a workbook from the Campaign for Youth Justice that analyzes current family engagement and family partnership practices in juvenile justice systems across the country and provides practical tools and resources for undertaking a family-driven approach to juvenile justice.
- For families and policymakers: this inventory of family resource publications can assist families in navigating the juvenile justice system and to advocate for change; there are also resources for policymakers on working with families to address barriers.
- For families and professionals working toward family-driven care for youth, see Closing the Gap: Cultural Perspectives on Family-Driven Care, which discusses the role and importance of incorporating culture, as defined by families, into efforts to provide services.
- This toolkit from The National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (NDTAC) provides multiple tools for facilities seeking to better engage families.
- This family guide provides information to families with children in juvenile facilities on how to connect with your child’s facility school and keep your child on track to complete school.
- Start a Family Advocacy Program
- Are you a system professional or a family member? Then check out this online, interactive “Family Advocacy Toolkit” from Colorado. It explains what family advocates do, gives examples of family advocacy programs around the country, and has resources tailored to professionals and family members.
See this inventory of family resource publications that can assist families in navigating the juvenile justice system and advocating for change; there are also resources for policymakers on working with families to address barriers.
For More Resources Related to Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System…
See the Models for Change website section on mental health: http://www.modelsforchange.net/reform-areas/mental-health/index.html