Workforce Development: Strategic Innovations from the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network provides an update and summary on the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) Action Network’s Workforce Development Strategic Innovation Group. Recognizing the need for comprehensive mental health training for juvenile justice staff that can be easily adapted for use at different points of contact, the Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network developed the Mental Health Training Curriculum for Juvenile Justice (MHTC-JJ) to fill this gap.

The participating states (Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, and Washington) worked in conjunction with the NCMHJJ and its consultants in the creation and testing of the curriculum. The MHTC-JJ was designed to provide juvenile justice staff with basic information about adolescent development and mental health disorders commonly seen within the juvenile justice system, the treatment services often used with justice-involved youth, and the important role of the family. In addition, the MHTC-JJ seeks to provide participants with practical strategies for better interacting and communicating with youth in their care who have mental health conditions. This document describes the MHTC-JJ and the progress participating states made one year into the implementation of the curriculum.

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 NCMHJJ. 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

This resource was first shared in 2011.

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