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  • Mental Health Trends and Needs in Juvenile Justice

Mental Health Trends and Needs in Juvenile Justice

  • Friday, August 26, 2022
  • 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM


  • includes luncheon buffet and CEUs

Registration is closed

Presented by Linda Johnson, LMFT, LAADC

Includes 3 CEUs for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs
This event is online. A recording will be available to registrants to view for 3 months.

It was never intended that our juvenile halls, jails and prisons be used as mental health treatment facilities, but that is a primary function of our detention facilities in this country.  We have experienced an increasingly urgent need for mental health education, expertise and programming within our multidisciplinary justice systems.  Youth may be particularly negatively impacted by contact with law enforcement, arrest, and subsequent detention, as it occurs during some of the most difficult and delicate developmental tasks of their lives.

More and more, the public and communities are turning to mental health professionals to intervene on those engaged in criminal activities, including our youth.  At the same time that we are experiencing a political shift toward reform in juvenile justice - resulting in the reorganization and modification of existing programming (including mental health services) - there remains a shortage of resources to create and staff new mental health programs.  

Though having strong and unwavering political, community and financial support to provide more and better quality mental health programming in juvenile justice systems would be ideal, it is not our current reality.  Therefore, mental health professionals’ most powerful tools while working with this population include solid clinical assessment skills and therapeutic abilities, an understanding of systemic issues within juvenile justice, and the capacity for compassion and connection with alleged perpetrators.  

During this presentation, we will review past and recent trends in juvenile justice with a focus on the associated mental health programming.  We will explore the roles and necessary skills of forensic mental health professionals.  We will also review some de-identified juvenile criminal cases with the opportunity to practice assessment and diagnostics, and discuss recommendations for treatment interventions

Program Goal

The goal of this program is for participants to increase their understanding regarding the importance of clinically accurate intake assessment and diagnosis, and the need to provide more appropriate treatment interventions to juvenile justice-involved youth and their families.

Interview with Linda Johnson, LMFT

Learning Objectives

1.  Identify four reasons other than “criminal intent” that youth end up in the juvenile justice system.
2.  Name three ways juvenile justice systems can more appropriately meet the growing mental health needs of youth.
3.  List three ways mental health intake assessment can be used to benefit youth who encounter juvenile justice systems.
4.  Identify two practices that have harmed or exacerbated youth mental health in our juvenile justice systems/programming.

About the Presenter

Linda Johnson earned a Master’s degree in clinical and research psychology from San Francisco State University.  She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC) - both licenses are held in the State of California. Linda has been a practicing mental health clinician for 20 years and spent sixteen years working as a forensic mental health clinician in juvenile justice settings, with specialties including assessment, trauma recovery, addictive disorders, family systems, adolescent and transitional-aged-youth mental health needs.  

During her years as a forensic mental health clinician, she assisted in the co-development of mental health programming, the facilitation of treatment and case management for detained and community-based juvenile-justice-involved youth and their families.  She provided trainings to probation and institution staff, and to partnering mental health and community-based professionals.  She also clinically supervised Master’s and Doctoral student interns yearly.


If you miss any of the presentation, you will not be eligible for the CEUs. SCV-CAMFT is a CAMFT approved Continuing Education Provider (CEPA 052466). This course meets the qualifications of 3 continuing education credit for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs. SCV-CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

The views expressed in presentations made at SCV-CAMFT meetings or events are those of the speaker and not, necessarily, of SCV-CAMFT. Presentations at SCV-CAMFT events do not constitute an endorsement of the vendor or speaker's views, products or services.


SCV-CAMFT               P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA 94306               mail@scv-camft.org             408-721-2010

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