U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Reintegration With Resilience: Supporting Mental and Behavioral Health for Youth Leaving Confinement

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2024
4 pages

This publication of the Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Center explains why reentry programs are important and how they support young people in meeting their needs.


This resource, published by the Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Center, discusses why reentry programs are important and how they support youth in reintegration programs by prioritizing mental and behavior health. The document also provides some practical tools to support this work. For youth and young adults leaving juvenile detention centers and other secure settings, the journey toward reintegration is a complex one. Among the many steps, addressing mental and behavioral health needs is critical to their success. Studies show that 40–90% of youth who are incarcerated have at least one diagnosable mental health disorder, with conduct disorder, substance use disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) being the most common. Many of these young people have histories of trauma and adverse childhood experiences, social and economic disadvantages, and systemic failures that contribute to their mental health struggles. Moreover, secure care settings can worsen mental health conditions through isolation, trauma, and a lack of treatment access, further disrupting healthy development and increasing the risk of recidivism.

Date Published: March 1, 2024