A New Model of Health Care for Juvenile Offenders

Expanding the Community Health Center Model of Care to the Juvenile Detention System in California

Field of Work: Health care for juveniles in detention and after returning to their communities

Problem Synopsis: A large proportion of youth who pass through the juvenile justice system spend time in detention. Most youth who enter detention do not have a medical home and lack stable health care. Little attention is paid to health care within juvenile justice facilities, and health care planning at discharge often is neglected.

Synopsis of the Work: Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, a nonprofit organization that connects community health providers with adults in jail, adapted its approach to serve a juvenile population in detention centers and through school-based health clinics after their release.

A separate evaluation prepared to document outcomes for the prototype program at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in California, but was discontinued before implementation because of institutional review board issues.

Key Results: As of September 2011, one project site (Monterey County) was fully operational and providing services.

  • Over a 12-month period, Juvenile Offenders Community Health Services served 4,600 youth as a result of the technical assistance it provided to Monterey, Merced and Alameda counties.
  • Project staff created a website and a concept paper to disseminate information on the Juvenile Offenders Community Health Services approach.

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