New Criminal Justice Policy ReviewACriminal Justice Policy Reviewrticle on BHJJ drawing international interest about youth intervention

A good deal of national discussion lately is increasingly devoted to the topic of effective, evidence-based juvenile justice interventions. Be it via network news features, National Public Radio round-tables, or New York Times op-eds, the issue often addressed is how to best prevent young people from straying down the wrong path – or, more to the point, how to guide those who have already strayed back to a healthy, productive, and ultimately lawful lifestyle.

The Begun Center’s 250-page report published around this time last year, commissioned by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and the Ohio Department of Youth Services, entitled “An Evaluation of the Behavioral Health and Juvenile Justice Initiative, 2006-13″, has answered some of this, along the way becoming a sought-after analysis and perspective on the effectiveness and success of Ohio’s BHJJ initiative.

BHJJ is a diversion program, sponsored by OhioMHAS and ODYS,  for juvenile justice-involved youth between 10-18 years of age who have behavioral health issues.  In lieu of detention, youth are referred into evidence-based, community-based behavioral health treatment.  Results of the Begun Center’s evaluation indicated that BHJJ was effective at improving several behavioral health outcomes including general functioning and trauma symptomatology.  Youth enrolled in BHJJ also showed reduced future delinquency.

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