Yale Juvenile Justice Mental Health Program
While only 18-20% of adolescents in the United States suffer from a mental health disorder, approximately 70% of adolescents in juvenile detention facilities suffer from one or more mental health conditions. Research demonstrates that many adolescents who evidence severe behavioral issues and enter the juvenile justice system have never received a comprehensive assessment and are struggling with undiagnosed, untreated mental health concerns. As there are approximately 70,000 adolescents across the country in residential detention facilities each year, the evaluation and treatment of individuals involved in the juvenile justice system is of critical importance.
Since 1996, Yale has provided behavioral health services to pre-adjudicated youth ages 11-18 under contract to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division. These services include on-site psychiatric and psychosocial evaluations, medication management, clinical interventions, crisis intervention, and the implementation of evidence-based practices to address mental health and substance use conditions. The program is staffed by a team of Yale social workers and Yale-affiliated psychiatrists. The overarching objective of the team is to stabilize youth in crisis, provide support, and teach skills that will help each adolescent cope and thrive as they return to the community. Yale's commitment to clinical excellence has been key in helping the state’s juvenile residential facilities achieve accreditation through both the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare and the American Correctional Association.
Jessica Grant-Serra, LCSW
Director, Yale Juvenile Justice Mental health Program
Yale Department of Psychiatry
55 Church Street, Suite 403
New Haven, CT 06510