Event: Mississippi Delta Project – Spring 2014

Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Juvenile Justice in Mississippi

Mon, March 31, 2014
Milstein West A, WCC
Harvard Law School
Organized by the Mississippi Delta Project and co-sponsored by CAP and others.
Non-pizza lunch served.

Please join the Mississippi Delta Project for a lunch talk with Dr. Angela Robertson (Interim Director and Research Professor, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University), whose research and testimony in front of the Mississippi House of Representatives’ Juvenile Justice Committee contributed to the passage of legislation requiring mental health screening of youths entering juvenile detention centers. Dr. Robertson has also researched the impact of adverse life events (including the impact of Hurricane Katrina) on various aspects of the lives of girls in the juvenile justice system, including substance abuse, mental health, and sexual risk behavior. Currently, she is working with state juvenile justice agencies to collect, analyze, and report data on juvenile crime and the juvenile justice system’s processing of youths.

Particularly among children, problems with mental health and substance abuse often go unacknowledged and untreated. In part as a result of this inadequate attention and rehabilitation, related delinquency often leads to time in juvenile detention centers, where mental health and substance abuse problems remain unaddressed. Without any robust institutional framework screening youths and providing mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation services, many youths are denied the opportunity to overcome their underlying issues and to avoid future incarceration. Furthermore, youth in the South, particularly the rural South, experience these problems in unique ways.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, the Child Advocacy Program, the Criminal Justice Institute, Child and Youth Advocates, Student Association for Law and Mind Sciences, and Student Association for Mental Health.