The Intersection of the Criminal Justice, Education, and Mental Healthcare Systems and Its Influence on Boys and Young Men of Color

by Benjamin Cook; Frank Samson; James Barrett; Sherry Hou

Aug 1, 2017

The authors provide a scan of the academic and gray literature on the intersection of the criminal justice, mental health, and education systems, and how it influences the lives of at-risk racial/ethnic minority youth (boys and young men of color). As well, the authors identify interventions that aim to improve outcomes for racial/ethnic minority at-risk youth at the intersection of these three structural systems.

  • Diversion programs (either pre-trial diversion from a court hearing or post-trial diversion from detention) that focus on multilevel, multisystem solutions should be sustained and enhanced.
  • More interventions are needed that specifically focus on addressing the needs of boys and young men of color.
  • There is a need to develop comprehensive data sources and rigorous evaluation studies to identify the components of diversion programs that are successful in interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • More information is needed about how both study dropout and sample pooling may bias the perceived effectiveness of interventions targeted toward boys and men of color.
  • Funding is needed to support multilevel interventions such as MST in the communities that can most benefit from them.