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SAMHSA and MacArthur Renew Commitment to Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Needs

Posted in 2014, Take Action Now Friday, 17 January 2014

States seeking to develop or improve policies and practices that divert justice-involved youth with behavioral health disorders to appropriate community-based programs and services are encouraged to apply for a new Integrated Policy Academy initiative.

Up to five states will be selected to participate in this effort based on their commitment to improving policies and practices for these youth. Throughout the duration of the initiative, selected states will receive technical assistance to guide the establishment of sustainable models and strategies for diverting youth with behavioral health disorders as early as possible. This initiative will focus specifically on school-based and probation-intake diversion strategies, with special emphasis on:

Decreasing the unnecessary involvement of youth with behavioral health problems in the justice system
Using research-based screening and assessment practices
Recognizing the important role of evidence-based and trauma-informed practice and treatment
Increasing collaboration among stakeholders to facilitate access to community treatment and services
Reducing the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system

This initiative, Improving Diversion Policies and Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Disorders: An Integrated Policy Academy-Action Network Initiative, is made possible by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. To view the Foundation's press release about this initiative, click here.