The overall purpose of this study is to test the utility of mental health screening procedures used by clinical coordinators in every juvenile court in the State of Connecticut to identify youths with poly-victimization histories at probation intake. The goal is to determine if poly-victimization enhanced screening (PVES) improves the (1) identification of, and (3) reduces recidivism by, traumatized youths.
The current project builds on the widespread use of the MAYSI-2 screener (described below) in juvenile justice by adding a brief but comprehensive screener for lifetime exposure to victimization and other potentially traumatic events (PTEs) and PTSD symptoms that has been developed for, and validated with, maltreated youth, the STRESS (Grasso, Felton, and Reid-Quinones, 2015). A quasi-experimental design comparing the screening of youth adjudicated in the juvenile justice system with the MAYSI-2 (screening as usual, SAU) with a poly-victimization enhanced screening (PVE) adding the STRESS, was designed to utilize both retrospective and prospective archival juvenile justice system data as outcomes. STRESS data routinely collected at admission to the two juvenile detention centers in the State of Connecticut were used to identify a poly-victim sub-group in the PVE cohort and sub-groups from two SAU cohorts matched with this poly-victim sub-group on demographics and MAYSI-2 profiles. The PVE cohort data were based on screenings conducted for 4 months immediately after addition of the STRESS to the MAYSI-2 as a standard screening protocol. The SAU cohorts were selected to represent a temporally proximate control group (i.e., the prior 4 month period immediately prior to the PVE time-period) and a seasonal control group (i.e., from the 4-month calendar period exactly one year earlier than the PVE time-frame).
All youth involved with the Juvenile Court System in Connecticut (Court Support Services Division) are screened as part of the intake process- the enhanced screening took place at 2 Connecticut Juvenile Courts (selected by Court Support Services Division) from June 1-September 30, 2015 and were then compared with youth screened as usual, from June 1 to September, 30 2014 and February 1-May 31, 2015, (this screening had already taken place).
Youth involved with 2 Juvenile Courts through the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) in the state of Connecticut
Data were extracted from State juvenile justice records to construct outcome variables representing legal involvement and service referrals in the 12-months before (retrospective) and after (prospective) the detention screening. All personal identifiers were removed by the State agency before data were provided to the project investigators following a protocol approved by the State agency's Internal Research Review Committee and the National Institute of Justice IRB, and that was determined by the project investigator's academic institution (the University of Connecticut Health Center's IRB) to not constitute human subjects research.
100% as all youth are screened as part of the intake process.
STRESS- Child Version for DSM-V, MAYSI-2