Developing a Trauma-Informed Diversion Program for Youth with Behavioral Health Conditions

From the report:

“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 needs are lacking, their conditions have not been recognized, or the relevant service systems are not coordinating effectively. Given the complexity of their needs and the documented inadequacies of their care within the juvenile justice system, there is a growing sentiment that, whenever safe and feasible, youth with behavioral health conditions should be diverted as early as possible to effective community-based treatments and services (Skowyra & Cocozza, 2006).

“To effectively identify and respond to youth with behavioral health conditions in contact with the juvenile justice system, states must adopt a specialized approach that ƒ integrates a wide array of service agencies and court processes, ƒcoordinates mental health and substance use services and supports, ƒemphasizes early intervention, and ƒuses evidence-based programs and practices to treat the complex needs of these youth.”

Read the full report here.

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Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change
About Jeremy Loudenback, Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Social Change 353 Articles
Jeremy is a West Coast-based senior editor for The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at