Many youth end up in the juvenile justice system not because of the seriousness of their crime, but because appropriate community-based treatments and services to address their specific behavioral health or trauma-related needs are lacking, their conditions have not been recognized, or the relevant service systems are not coordinating effectively.
The majority of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system experience behavioral health disorders. Often, juvenile probation, detention, and correctional staff have received little formal training on adolescent development and mental health and therefore lack the skills to effectively respond to these youth. From 2011-2016, with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Office of Juvenile… Read More
The majority of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system experience behavioral health disorders. Often, juvenile probation, detention, and correctional staff have received little formal training on adolescent development and mental health and therefore lack the skills to effectively respond to these youth.
From 2011-2016, with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, the NCMHJJ undertook an effort to disseminate the Mental Health Training Curriculum for Juvenile Justice (MHTC-JJ). This curriculum is an 8-hour training on adolescent development, mental and substance use conditions and treatment, childhood trauma, the important role of families, and offers practical strategies for engaging and interacting with youth. Over the course of the project period, 16 sites were competitively selected to be part of this initiative.
The NCMHJJ sent two expert trainers to each site to deliver a 1.5-day train-the-trainer session on the MHTC-JJ. Results from evaluations of the train-the-trainer session and each site’s first formal MHTC-JJ training using the trained trainers included:
Diverting American Indian youth with behavioral health needs away from contact with the juvenile justice system to culturally relevant, community-based programs and services… Read More
Unfortunately, many American Indian youth end up in the juvenile justice system because they are exposed to risk factors that increase their chances of becoming involved in delinquency. American Indian communities often lack sufficient law enforcement services, have underfunded justice systems, and often do not have resources to provide prevention and diversion services.
There is a growing sentiment that whenever safe and possible, American Indian youth should be diverted to effective, culturally relevant community-based programs and services. To improve juvenile justice diversion policies and programs at tribal, state, and federal levels, it is necessary to:
This initiative brings together teams of community leaders from selected tribes to identify and implement innovative approaches for diverting youth with behavioral health needs to culturally relevant, community-based programs and services. Participating tribes develop action plans that will facilitate the implementation of strategies for identifying and diverting American Indian youth away from contact with the juvenile justice system.
This initiative is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.