The majority of juvenile justice-involved youth have a history of behavioral health (mental health or substance use) problems and have experienced a great deal of trauma. However, local jurisdictions are often ill-equipped to accurately assess youth for behavioral health problems and provide appropriate treatment. Ohio’s Behavioral Health/Juvenile Justice (BHJJ) Initiative was intended to transform and expand the local systems’ options to better serve these youths.
Ohio’s Behavioral Health/Juvenile Justice (BHJJ) Initiative is a diversion program for juvenile justice-involved youth between the ages of 10-18 who also suffer from mental or behavioral health issues. In lieu of detention, the BHJJ program diverts youth into more comprehensive, community-based behavioral health treatment. The Begun Center provides research and evaluation support for the initiative and recently released a new report for the initiative.