Students with behavioral health needs are disproportionately subject to exclusionary school discipline and school-based arrests. These experiences often place them on a pathway from school misbehavior to juvenile justice system involvement, resulting in a range of poor outcomes.

The Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders: An Integrated Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative, with the support of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is a collaboration between the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the Technical Assistance Collaborative. This project supports cross systems teams of state and local leaders in developing and implementing a School Responder Model to address behavioral health needs of students through community-based services that keep youth in school and out of the justice system.  Technical assistance is provided to teams around the structure of successful School Responder Model initiatives, building the necessary collaborative team, identification of youth in need through screening and assessment, processes to develop enduring systems of referral to effective services, and data collection and analysis.  Teams implement initiatives in order to redirect youth with behavioral health needs from school-justice pathways to community-based supports that foster school success.

Policy Academy-Action Network States, by Project Year

2012-2013 – To learn more about specific projects, click on the respective state.

2014-2015

2015-2016

All States

Arkansas Kentucky Michigan Michigan Minnesota Mississippi New York State South Carolina Virginia

FEATURED MEDIA

"States Selected for SAMHSA-MacArthur Initiative story" webpage with map
other

States Selected for SAMHSA-MacArthur Initiative to Divert Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

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publication

Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Co-occurring Mental and Substance Use Disorders

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webinar

Diversion for Youth with Behavioral Health Needs: Applying Proven Strategies to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System

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website

CHDI School-Based Diversion Initiative Website

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