New States Engage with the MHTC-JJ

Posted by Edward Loughran
August 21, 2014

The work of the Models for Change Mental Health/Juvenile Justice (MH/JJ) Action Network continues to spread. Two states were recently introduced to the Mental Health Training Curriculum for Juvenile Justice (MHTC-JJ), which was developed by the MH/JJ Action Network.

The North Dakota Division of Juvenile Justice Services and the West Virginia Division of Juvenile Services received two of four technical assistance grants made available from the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators (CJCA) through funds from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. These grants were awarded to deepen and expand the impact of tools, trainings, practices and approaches developed as part of the Foundation’s Models for Change reform initiative.

In July and August 2014, approximately 50 professionals from the fields of corrections, detention, mental health, and juvenile court participated in MHTC-JJ train-the-trainer sessions coordinated by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The MHTC-JJ addresses adolescent development, mental health disorders common among youth in the juvenile justice system, and practical strategies for supervising youth with mental health needs. With almost 70 percent of youth involved with the juvenile justice system having a diagnosable mental health disorder, it is important that staff who work with this population receive training that facilitates appropriate responses.

Both train-the-trainer sessions were evaluated and the results will be presented at the CJCA Leadership Institute in October.