Focal Point Summer 2006
"Corrections" (2006), v.20(2)
This issue of Focal Point describes the need for, and provides examples of, new strategies for meeting the mental health needs of children and adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system.
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Introduction: Corrections: New Strategies for Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Youth in Juvenile Justice
Walker, J. S.
A high percentage of children and youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system experience mental health difficulties. This article introduces the current issue of Focal Point, which focuses on the need for, and examples of, successful strategies for meeting their needs.
A Blueprint for Change: Improving the System Response to Youth with Mental Health Needs Involved with the Juvenile Justice System
This article reviews research documenting the lack of effective strategies for meeting the mental health needs of youth involved with the juvenile justice system. The article also presents the Blueprint for Change, a model that describes the juvenile justice system along a continuum from intake to release, and identifies critical intervention points for improving the system's response to mental health needs. The Blueprint also describes a set of philosophical and practical principles that guide appropriate response, and provides examples of model programs.
Views from the RAD
Wise, E., Malone, K., & Gilbert, V.
These insightful personal essays by three young men who were held in the Secure Residential Alcohol and Drug Program (RAD) explore themes of childhood neglect, drug addiction, and the road to recovery.
Investigation and Litigation in Juvenile Justice
Since 1980, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) has allowed the Attorney General to inspect juvenile detention facilities to ensure observance of juveniles' legal rights. This article describes how CRIPA has helped to remedy the appalling conditions present in some juvenile detention centers.
Bad Conduct, Defiance, and Mental Health
This article questions the utility of the psychiatric diagnoses of conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), focusing on how these labels may lead to misunderstanding youth involved with juvenile justice. CD and ODD are often symptoms of a co–occurring mental health condition such as bipolar disorder or post–traumatic stress disorder, and youth need to be individually evaluated to develop an appropriate plan for treating the underlying causes of their behaviors.
Overview of the FIT Treatment Model
Lee, T. & DeRobertis, M.
The Family Integrated Transitions Model (FIT) supports youth and their families as the youth is making transition from detention back into the community. The authors describe an approach that combines elements of Multisystemic Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Therapy, and provide evidence for the cost–effectiveness of the approach.
What Families Think of the Juvenile Justice System: Findings from the OJJDP Multi–State Study
Osher, T., & Shufelt, J.
Families of incarcerated youth with mental health needs have an unparalleled perspective on the mental health services—or the lack of services—available from the juvenile justice system. This article details some of the findings of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's multi–state study on parents' views of mental health services for youth involved with the juvenile justice system.
The Integrated Co–Occurring Treatment Model (ICT): A New Treatment Model for Youth with Co–Occurring Disorders Involved in the Juvenile Justice System
Shepler, R., Cleminshaw, H. K., & Kanary, P.
About half of youth with mental health conditions who are involved with the juvenile justice system have a substance use disorder as well. The ICT Model stresses an integrated approach to treating these conditions simultaneously and with an individually and developmentally appropriate therapeutic response.
A Shortage of Mental Health Services Drives Inappropriate Placements in Juvenile Detention
Mental health services can be expensive or unattainable for the families of many youth with mental health challenges. Untreated mental health needs in youth sometimes lead to unnecessary placement in juvenile detention facilities, where services are usually inadequate and may be non–existent. Creative partnerships between governmental departments and mental health providers can lead to improved treatment for these youth.