A Blueprint for Change: Improving the System Response to Youth with Mental Health Needs Involved with the Juvenile Justice System provides guidance and direction to the field on the state of juvenile justice within the United States, how best to identify and treat behavioral health disorders among juvenile justice-involved youth at key stages of processing.

The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice’s Comprehensive Model provides a conceptual and practical framework for responding to the large numbers of youth in the juvenile justice system with mental health needs. This challenging project culminated in the first-ever systematic review of the juvenile justice system in its entirety to identify ways in which mental health service delivery strategies can be strengthened. While the document is targeted to state and county administrators and program directors from the juvenile justice and mental health systems, all staff within those systems can benefit from the information and examples provided.

The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) originally developed and maintained this resource. The NCYOJ was operated by Policy Research, Inc. and operated from 2001 to 2022 and was formerly known as the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The NCYOJ improved life opportunities for youth through systems and practice improvement initiatives.

This resource should be viewed as a reference document. It has not been updated since its publication. In addition, this document has not been made 508 compliant. If you would like a 508 compliant version of this document, please email communications@prainc.com.

This resource was first shared in 2006.

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