Racial Disparities Among Juvenile Facilities

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_197353857Racial disparities are unfortunately very present in the juvenile justice system. Though the rate of incarceration is declining, there is still evidence that youth of color are overrepresented in juvenile detention centers.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Can Drug Courts Partner with Evidence-Based Programs?

Posted by MST Services

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Louisiana added Multisystemic Therapy (MST) to drug courts. This is why.

29% of high-school students reported drinking alcohol, and 22% said they used marijuana in 2019. However, studies show that due to COVID-19, young adults with mental health issues are more likely to report an increase in drinking; during the pandemic, the percentage of students who used alcohol rose to 30.4%. Using and abusing drugs as a minor has been shown to contribute to academic difficulties, mental-health problems, negative peer relationships, and involvement in the juvenile justice system. We know that adolescents are hard-wired to take risks. Thus, many teens will experiment with drugs and alcohol, and will not grow to abuse these substances. But what can be done to help those who escalate from experimentation to misuse, abuse or a substance misuse disorder?

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Will Juvenile Facilities Integrate Telehealth in the Future?

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_370455747Telehealth was once used as a solution to reach rural communities, underserved populations, and clients in secured facilities such as prisons, but it has now become a normality in the healthcare industry. Due to the global pandemic in 2020, healthcare systems had to quickly overcome barriers brought on by the inability to provide face-to-face services; our education, justice, and housing systems all had to do the same. Despite these unprecedented challenges, telehealth has developed a new, possibly more efficient, way to provide services to all individuals in need.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

A Look Inside Juvenile Detention Centers

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_333358678Picture a juvenile detention center. You might envision long hallways filled with cells that house justice-involved adolescents, a dull colored cafeteria, or barbed wire fences. Now picture 625 of those in the United States. These types of centers normally replicate an adult prison with limited resources. According to Prison Policy Initiative, two-thirds of confined youth are held in the most restrictive facilities, the juvenile justice versions of jails and prisons. Although the majority of these youth are detained in detention centers, there are many other forms of facilities typically hidden by euphemisms that proliferate the system.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

‘Tis the Season to Say Thank You

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_292945911As 2020 comes to an end, we would like to celebrate our MST clinicians, supervisors, program leaders, experts, and Network Partner Directors and the youth, families, and communities they served. Like many other organizations around the world, MST Services had to transition to a virtual environment due to the pandemic. Despite the many challenges our clinicians faced, they were still able to transform the lives of vulnerable populations through telehealth methodologies and we want to extend a thank you.

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Topics: MST Success Stories

Understanding Substance Abuse Among Teens

Posted by MST Services

substance abuse among teens2020, unlike past years, has proven to be a difficult year for all ages. Similar to the pandemic the world is facing, the epidemic of substance abuse among teens is not slowing down. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains prescription medications, along with other drugs, are one of the fastest-growing substance abuse problems within the United States specifically affecting the lives of teenagers. Moreover, countries around the world have seen a similar trend – 35 million people globally suffered from drug misuse in 2019. The more adults and adolescents understand the signs and dangers of using, the bigger the chance of reducing the problem within communities.

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Topics: Substance Abuse

The Job of an MST Therapist During the Pandemic

Posted by MST Services

MST Therapists Deal with the PandemicThanksgiving is often a time of reflection and gratitude in one’s life. Today we want to share an update from a Norway Multisystemic Therapy Expert, Ingvild Stjernen Tisløv, about providing MST services during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Being responsible for a home-based service in child welfare during COVID-19 has been a balancing act between ethical dilemmas, legal constraints and pragmatism. The experience so far is that if we are to crack the virus and at the same time safeguard the most vulnerable in society, we must have an approach where the client – not the fear – is in the driver's seat.

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Topics: MST Success Stories, COVID-19

How Virtual Environments are Affecting Youth

Posted by MST Services

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With the world facing many challenges from the 2020 pandemic, the education sector of society comes to mind as one of the biggest overnight transformations. Covid-19 has disrupted the school system in a variety of ways in order to contain the spread of the virus. 87% of the world’s student population has been affected by school closures. Now, educational institutions have transitioned from traditional learning to remote learning or hybrid class settings through phases. This has created an array of obstacles for many children and their families.

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Topics: Child Welfare, COVID-19

Why MST is a Restorative Alternative for At-Risk Youth

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_257175288Over the past few decades, the United States’ primary solution for juvenile offenders has been incarceration, or in other words, placement in juvenile correction facilities. However, after many studies, this way of holding troubled youth accountable for their actions may not be the best option for all. The National Conference of State Legislatures states, “Detention that follows arrest of a young person and pending disposition of the case has not only been shown to have negative consequences for some youths, it often is costly and unwarranted for public safety.” Although incarceration is necessary for some juveniles, alternative options can be just as effective, if not more.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy

How Covid-19 is Affecting Mental Health in Juvenile Facilities

Posted by MST Services

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With October being the month of Mental Health Awareness Day, it is important to know the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on juveniles’ mental health. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that between April through June, younger adults reported disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation, than the same time period in 2019. 

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Mental Health, COVID-19