CHILDREN AT RISK conducted the first independent evaluation of the four Juvenile Mental Health Courts in Texas (Austin/Travis, San Antonio/Bexar, El Paso and Harris Counties). The publication was generously funded by the Meadows Foundation, Texas Juvenile Mental Health Courts: An Evaluation and Blueprint for the Future. Key findings include:
Juvenile Mental Health Courts provide access to mental health services that not only save taxpayers money today, but also in the future. Alternative dockets are cost effective; costing tax payers much less than detention. Juvenile Mental Health Courts are specialized courts that utilize a separate docket, coupled with a team approach and regular judicial supervision, to respond to individuals with mental illnesses who come in contact with the justice system.
The approximate cost of the program based on six months’ participation in Juvenile Mental Health Court is $150 per youth, per day. When compared to placement in juvenile detention at an approximate cost of $270 per day, there is an approximate savings of $29,160 per participant.
To disseminate the recent evaluation and educate community members on the topic of juvenile mental health, CHILDREN AT RISK hosted two policy events, in Dallas and Houston. Both events brought together mental health experts, state and local stakeholders, community members, advocates and school representatives to talk about juvenile mental health. To obtain a copy please contact email@example.com or (713) 869-7740.Tags: CLE, Juvenile Justice, Mental Health