NPR logo Courts Target Juvenile Offenders' Mental Health


Courts Target Juvenile Offenders' Mental Health

Judge Ray Davilla is one of the co-founders of the Santa Clara Juvenile Mental Health Court. The Justice Department is considering the program as a model for other courts. Courtesy Santa Clara Juvenile Mental Health Court hide caption

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Courtesy Santa Clara Juvenile Mental Health Court

Many young people in the criminal juvenile-justice system have mental illnesses, but they rarely get the psychiatric care they need. Now a handful of courts are taking these youths out of the mainstream justice system in order to give them effective mental health care.

Michelle Trudeau visits a model program in Northern California's Santa Clara County.

Web Resources on Juvenile Mental Health & the Courts:

This site provides general information about Santa Clara County's juvenile delinquency court system and its special programs for minors.

NCMHJ was established in 2001 to help develop improved policies and programs for youths with mental-health disorders in the juvenile justice system.

The Bazelon Center is a national legal advocate for people with mental disabilities. Through litigation and in the public policy arena, the center works to advance and preserve the rights of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.

This group offers pro bono consultation and technical assistance to juvenile and family court officers and other professionals working with at-risk children. It is affiliated with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

NAMI is a not-for-profit, grassroots, self-help support and advocacy organization of consumers, families and friends of people with severe mental illnesses. It was founded in 1979 to achieve equitable services and treatment for the mentally ill.

CABF is a parent-led group of families raising children diagnosed with, or at risk for, early-onset bipolar disorder.