How Time in a Youth Correctional Facility Negatively Affects Future Health and Well-Being

Posted by MST Services

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The United States has more children in a youth correctional facility than any other country in the world. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states that about 60,000 adolescents under the age of 18 are incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons on any given day.

Research shows that children who have spent time in facilities tend to exhibit physical and mental health concerns later in life and they are more likely to fall behind in school, which is an important component of staying out of the system.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Mental Health

Reforming the Juvenile Justice System with Education

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_431669533Literacy and incarceration are two words that you don't often hear in the same sentence. When you read those terms, you might feel that they have nothing in common or that they are opposites. But here's what is interesting, despite what you may think, they are closely related and there are many reasons why. The Department of Justice states, "The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure."

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Child Welfare

7 Juvenile Justice Reform Trends to Watch For in 2022

Posted by MST Services

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As a result of the many events that have occurred since 2020, and are still occurring, including juvenile and criminal justice reform, a mental health epidemic, the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid overdose surges, and ongoing unemployment, practices are being put into place in order to rebuild our communities.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform

Diving Deeper into Youth Crime Statistics

Posted by MST Services

AdobeStock_404112505In light of Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM), established in 2008 to draw attention to adolescents impacted by the criminal justice system, it is time to address America’s youth crime statistics.

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Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform, Multisystemic Therapy

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

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