Mental & Behavioral Health

teens with laptop

Behavioral Health Care Needs, Detention-Based Care, and Criminal Recidivism at Community Reentry From Juvenile Detention: A Multisite Survival Curve Analysis (2015)

Detained youths have significant mental health
needs, with the majority meeting the diagnostic
criteria for a mental health disorder. Specifically, about 60% to 80% of detained youths have at least 1 mental disorder, compared with only 15% to 20% of the general adolescent population.1---4 Practice guidelines highlighting the need for mental health screening, assessment, and treatment have been developed, and juvenile justice mental health screening programs have become increasingly common in the United States.5 However, the role of detention-based mental health care on future outcomes has largely been unexplored.

Responding to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Needs of Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Ohio’s Behavioral Health/Juvenile Justice Initiative (2015)

Nearly half a million inmates with mental health issues are housed in our country’s jails and prisons.The three largest providers of mental health service in the United States are jails: Cook County in Illinois, Los Angeles County in California, and Rikers Island in New York. A report by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that jails and prisons hold more than 10 times the number of persons suffering from mental illness than state hospitals. Perhaps nothing speaks to the intersection of the justice system and mental health as clearly as news out of Cook County, Illinois, where the county jail system recently hired Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia, a clinical psychologist, as the new warden. Whether they like it or not, our justice systems are most certainly in the mental health business. 

OJJDP Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Behavioral Health Problems,Treatment, and Outcomes in Serious Youthful Offenders (2014)

The Pathways to Desistance study followed more than 1,300 serious youthful offenders for 7 years after their court involvement. In this bulletin, the authors investigate the overlap between behavioral health problems and the risk of future offending and the delivery of mental health services to young offenders
in institutions and after release.

County Concerns: Behavioral Health and Juvenile Justice (2014)

As many as 70 percent of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health disorder and more than 60 percent of those youth with a mental health disorder also have a substance use disorder. Nearly one in five youth in detention have disorders that are serious enough to require immediate and serious treatment—more than three times the rate in the general youth population.

Better Solutions for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System

By the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change: A Training, Technical Assistance and Education Center and a member of the Models for Change Resource Center Partnership

A comparison of service use among youth involved with juvenile justice and mental health (2014)

This article examines the risk of internalising and externalising disorders and related service use histories of two groups of youth: one group sampled from justice services, and a second sampled from mental health services.
Self-report data from 152 multiple service using youth are included in the present analysis. Data shows that both groups of youth have similar levels of risk for mental health problems and equal levels of engagement in delinquent behaviour. There are however disparities in levels of engagement across service providers: youth engaged predominantly with justice services report much lower levels of engagement with mental health services. Given equal levels of engagement in delinquent behaviour combined with significantly higher levels of engagement with police by youth engaged with justice services, findings suggest that earlier mental health intervention may divert youth from the legal system.

A Framework for Investment in Mental Health Services (Letter to the Vice President)
California State Senator Darrell Steinberg (January 2013)

National Mental Health Experts React to NRA Response on Newtown Tragedy
Statement prepared for the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Message to Health Care Providers
Letter from the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (January 2013)

Newtown, Mental Health, and Keeping Our Children Safe
An excerpt from Andrea Schwalm's article in Wired Magazine

Biden’s Gun Control Task Force Urged to Make Access to Mental Health Care Easier National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health

Recommendations to the Administration
Mental Health America

Mental Health Liaison Group Letter to Vice President Biden
Mental Health Liaison Group

Summary of CJJ Report on Mental Health – Handle with Care
Coalition for Juvenile Justice

Mental Health Liason Group Letter to Vice President Biden
Mental Health Liason Group

Recommendations to the Administration
Mental Health America