Objectives: We describe a statewide effort to implement detention-based mental health screening and assess follow-up services offered to detained youths in Indiana.
Methods: A total of 25 265 detention stays (15 461 unique youths) occurred between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, across 16 detention centers participating in the Indiana JuvenileMental Health Screening Project.We collected screening results and reports of detention-based follow-up mental health services and referrals from justice system records.
Results: Approximately 21% of youths screened positive for mental health issues requiring follow-up. A positive screen significantly predicted that youths would receive a follow-up mental health service or referral while detained or upon detention center discharge, compared with youths who did not screen positive (61% vs 39%). Logistic regressionmodels indicated that a positive screen was associated with (1) contact with a mental health clinician within 24 hours of detention center intake and (2) a mental health referral upon discharge. White youths were more likely than minorities to receive both follow-up services.
Conclusions: Future statewide efforts to improve the mental health of detained youths should incorporate standards for providing appropriate follow-up services in detention centers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health