The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and MacArthur announce that New York, Nevada, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have been selected to participate inImproving Diversion Polices and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders: An Integrated Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative.

The presence of behavioral health disorders in youth creates unique challenges for the juvenile justice and education systems at both the policy and program levels. To achieve positive outcomes for these youth, juvenile justice, behavioral health, and education systems must increase collaboration, continuity of care, and access to integrated, evidence-based, or promising-practice screening and treatment models. This Initiative will address the growing concern over the school to prison pipeline through the creation of models that reduce movement of youth out of schools and into juvenile justice settings because of behavioral issues that result from mental health or substance abuse challenges.  Participating states will develop systems to support keeping young people with behavioral health needs in school with access to community-based treatment resources instead of juvenile justice system processing.