The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice was founded in 2001 to promote awareness of the mental health needs of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system, and to help the field develop improved policies and practices to respond to these youth based on the best available research and practice. Through its various projects, the Center:
- Serves as the national focal point for the collection, development, and dissemination of information and resources on youth with mental health needs in contact with the juvenile justice system;
- Guides and influences policy and practice in select jurisdictions to bring about improved services for youth; and
- Uses these experiences to inform and improve public policy at the national, state, and local level.
The Center is located at Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA), a small business located in Delmar, NY. PRA’s work has focused on mental health services research, training, and technical assistance. PRA staff are known for their expertise in the areas of mental health, criminal justice, juvenile justice, homelessness/housing, substance use, and issues pertaining to family members and consumers.