juvenile offenders, mental health, court, delinquency, justice involved youth, mental health court, rehabilitation


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Legal Studies


Laura Marsh


Tough-on-crime policies regarding youthful offending have resulted in a pendulum swing in which the juvenile justice system has shifted from a rehabilitative focus to one of punishment. The current paper evaluates different mental health program alternatives, as an option to return to a rehabilitative focus for juveniles, with a major focus on the Juvenile Treatment and Support Court in Kent County, Michigan. Through a qualitative analysis, there were findings of initial success with the youthful offenders presented in the court. Recommendations and limitations from the study are presented to aid further policy change and research.