Tenet 4: Improve Cross-System Collaboration
Justice-involved youth overwhelmingly have histories of untreated trauma, victimization, physical and mental health needs, substance abuse issues, and educational delays.[i] Research suggests that well over half of justice-involved youth have experienced the child welfare [ii] or mental health systems.[iii] Too often, these vulnerable youth cross over to the justice system, and may even be confined, as a means to access mental health or substance abuse treatment.[iv] The justice system should never be a dumping ground for youth who have been failed by other systems. It is imperative that jurisdictions work collaboratively across agencies – public health, child welfare, education, labor, housing, etc. – to address the holistic needs of youth and equally share accountability for youths’ well-being and outcomes. Coordinated systems can be achieved by using comprehensive screenings and assessments, applying for and blending funding and jointly implementing effective, appropriate services that benefit youth and families.