Youth in the juvenile justice system experience mental and substance use disorders at rates that are significantly higher than that of the general youth population. Many youth are unnecessarily placed in or referred to the juvenile justice system for relatively minor, non-violent offenses, often in a misguided attempt to obtain treatment services that are lacking in the community.

Over the last decade, significant advances in research and program development have resulted in a wide array of new tools and knowledge that can help the juvenile justice and related child-serving systems improve their response to youth with behavioral health needs.

Through the cross-systems mapping activity, participants:

  • Develop a local “map” that shows how youth with mental and/or substance use disorders come in contact with and
  • move through the juvenile justice system
  • Use a self-assessment process to identify gaps and strengths at Critical Intervention Points
  • Identify opportunities for improving the response to justice-involved youth at each of the Critical Intervention Points
    along the juvenile justice system