Behavioral Health Committee

CJCA has convened a Behavioral Health Committee that includes Mental Health directors and persons directly overseeing mental health programming within jurisdictions to discuss current issues and Best Practices in delivering mental health services to youths.  The committee currently meets once a month via conference calls and GoTo meetings.

The committee is chaired by Steven Lafreniere, Director, Alabama Department of Youth Services.


Steve Lafreniere, Behavioral Health Committe Chair

Steve Lafreniere, Behavioral Health Committe Chair

Executive Director, Alabama Department of Youth Services

Steve has extensive experience in providing leadership in the design, implementation and oversight of community based service systems. While employed with the Department of Mental Health he served as the Director of Community Services for the Division of Developmental Disabilities. This position was responsible for supervising the operations of five Regional Community Services Offices across the state, Early Intervention, Autism and Children’s Services within the Division.

He offers skill and experience working on state juvenile justice issues, development of non-residential diversion programs, and in the day to day operation of state institutions for delinquent children. He served for eleven years as Director of Children’s Services for the Department of Mental Health. During that time, he also served on the DYS Board as proxy for ten years for three different commissioners. He is very familiar with the transformative initiatives and direction the department has taken over this time. He also served on the Youth Services Board’s Education Committee and is very familiar with the unique challenges and successes the Youth Services School District has experienced.

Mr. Lafreniere holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University and a Master’s of Science/Clinical Psychology from Auburn University Montgomery.