Thinking Outside the Cell
Alternatives to Incarceration for Youth with Mental Health Needs
The report features three case studies of youth confined to the Texas Youth Commission’s (TYC) Corsicana Residential Treatment Center, a facility for youth with serious mental health needs. The stories highlight the significant challenges youth with mental health needs face before and after commitment to TYC. They also demonstrate that access to appropriate and effective community-based mental health services is vital to addressing the underlying reasons for many youths’ offenses, thus reducing recidivism, and preventing deeper involvement with juvenile and criminal justice systems. The report also features strategies for community-based intervention now being implemented in Texas and other jurisdictions, and makes policy recommendations.