Knowledge Brief: Mental Health Services in Juvenile Justice: Who pays? What gets paid for? And who gets to decide?

Providing effective mental health services for youths in the juvenile justice system raises complex policy questions, including: Who pays? What services get paid for? And who gets to decide? The answers to these questions are changing rapidly, as financing shifts from specialized programs to broad-based insurance such as Medicaid. This brief provides another view of the changing financing streams and federal health care reform, and explores the opportunities and challenges facing mental health and social service providers, juvenile justice practitioners, and others who want to have a seat at the policy table.