Connecticut School-Based Diversion

The mental health, education, and juvenile justice systems are deeply interconnected systems with critical impacts on young people with mental health needs and young people of color. Incarcerated youth have high rates of unmet mental health needs and “zero tolerance” policies in schools contribute to high rates of arrest and school expulsion. Although Connecticut has made important progress on reducing total arrests, recent data indicates continuing problems with in-school arrests, which can differentially impact students with mental health needs. Clearly, there is a need for effective school-based initiatives that build the capacity of school professionals to integrate connected systems priorities.