The first step in ensuring an effective response to the needs of juvenile justice-involved youth with issues such as mental health is to have the capacity to promptly identify who needs services and what types of services they need. If possible, the first option should always be to find appropriate services that are outside the juvenile justice system. By using standardized, scientifically-sound screening and assessment instruments with strong psychometric properties and demonstrated reliability and validity, prompt screening and assessment can occur at a number of strategic points of contact. Emphasis should be placed on assessing and diverting youth to evidence-based services in the community as early as possible.
The Louisiana Models for Change effort sought to aid in the development of evidence-based community screening and assessment tools at each decision-making point in the juvenile justice continuum of care and the development of community-based services for youth/families specific to the needs of the jurisdiction and based upon the strategic plan developed by the key leadership of the parish and the youth planning board.
For more information on the Jefferson Parish Screening and Assessment Resource Manual, click here.
For more information on an Evaluation of Youth Outcomes in Jefferson Parish, click here.
For more information on the Service Referral Matrix, click here.
For more information on Juvenile Detention Screening Instruments, click here.