U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Prevalence Estimation of Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in Juvenile Facilities

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $549,956)

Youth in carceral settings are particularly vulnerable and in need of treatment. Accordingly, accurately screening, diagnosing, and treatment youth with Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders (COD) is important to supporting their overall wellbeing and preventing further justice system involvement.

Specifically, the proposed multi-site prevalence study and process evaluation has three main goals: 1) determine the prevalence of youth with COD in particular juvenile justice residential facilities, as determined by a clinical assessment; 2) examine variation in prevalence rates by race and ethnicity and other demographics, time period, and agency facility type through statistical analyses; and 3) assess the approaches, attitudes, and perceptions of juvenile justice agency staff and behavioral health professionals in identifying and treating youth with mental health and substance use disorders via a process evaluation.

Urban Institute is proposing a 48-month study: to estimate the prevalence of youth with COD in select juvenile facilities that screen and assess all youth, and to evaluate agency processes for identifying and treating youth with COD. Urban will collect administrative data on the entire residential population in each agency, standardize the data across sites, estimate the prevalence of COD and treatment receipt, examine disparities, review agency policies, conduct site visits, interview juvenile justice and behavioral health practitioners, and consider youth focus groups.

Urban will partner with four of the five interested juvenile justice agencies in Connecticut, Delaware; Harris County, TX; Oregon, and Utah. The applicant has also assembled senior advisors with expertise in behavioral health diagnosis and prevalence estimation.

The planned deliverables include: a final research report, archivable data, a practitioner brief on COD prevalence, agency-specific fact sheets, and a scholarly article on the prevalence estimates, as well as the conduct of a webinar. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2022