Forum Session

Mental Health and Juvenile Justice: Moving Toward More Effective Systems of Care
October 7, 2005


Jane Koppelman, Consultant


This Forum session explored the role that the juvenile justice system plays in serving children with serious mental disorders. Speakers described the process by which many children with mental disorders interact with the system and shared their perspectives on how and why limitations of the health care, public mental health, and other child-serving systems lead to the incarceration of many such youth. Discussion also focused on what is known about the adequacy of mental health care within the juvenile justice system. Finally, two models for diverting children with mental disorders from incarceration to community-based care by reorganizing public funding were highlighted.


Joseph Cocozza, PhD, Director, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, Policy Research Associates, Inc.; Edward Loughran, Executive Director, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators; Erin Espinosa, Program Specialist, Federal Programs Division, Texas Juvenile Probation Commission; Ronald Denney, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services

Slides from the presentations by Dr. Cocozza, Mr. Loughran, Ms. Espinosa, and Mr. Denney are available for download.

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