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"We offer flexible solutions for your juvenile justice needs"


The National Youth Screening & Assessment Partners (NYSAP) is a technical assistance and research group, dedicated to helping juvenile justice programs identify youths’ needs for behavioral health intervention and risk management.

NYSAP has been working with juvenile justice programs nationwide since 2000. We provide training and implementation technical assistance services to agencies and programs in the areas of risk screening and risk-needs assessment, behavioral health screening (including traumatic events and symptoms), and juveniles’ competence to stand trial evaluations. We also provide many other trainings for various stakeholder groups.

Our Mission: NYSAP assists juvenile justice systems to make decisions about adolescents that are consistent with youths’ health and positive development and with the community’s interests.  We do this by helping systems use reliable, evidence-based methods for screening and assessment.  We focus on various decision points in the juvenile justice process— diversion, detention, probation and case management, and judicial decisions.

To accomplish this, we use sound research-based methods to assist juvenile justice systems to:

    • Select appropriate screening and assessment methods
    • Develop appropriate policies for their use
    • Train personnel in those methods and policies, as well as the instrument's use (e.g., case planning) to arrive at appropriate decisions about youth
    • Assist in development of sustained quality of practice, including quality assurance  

NYSAP also performs research of two types: (a) development of screening tools and assessment methods for use in various juvenile justice settings, and (b) evaluation of the impact and value of implementing screening tools and assessment methods in those settings.

Contact us to inquire about assistance or training from NYSAP on risk and needs screening and assessment, the MAYSI-2, or other screening and assessment needs in juvenile justice programs.

NYSAP States

Juvenile Justice Publications

***Newly Published***

Studying Drivers of Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument Implementation in Juvenile Justice (2018)
by Gina Vincent, Christopher J. Sullivan, Carrie Sullivan, Laura Guy, Edward Latessa, Jennifer Tyson, and Benjamin Adams

Risk assessment and other screening tools can help juvenile justice agencies improve safety for staff and youth. In 2012, national standards of practice for juvenile facilities were implemented in response to the Federal law known as the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA; 28 C.F.R. § 115.341),1 which mandated the implementation of objective screening procedures at juvenile facilities (including group homes and treatment centers that service criminal justice populations) to identify individuals who are at risk of sexual victimization or sexual misconduct. Identification of youth at highest risk of either of these outcomes at entry into a facility enables facility staff to put appropriate interventions into place to reduce the risk of sexual victimization (e.g., placing youth in a room by themselves).

Recent discourse suggests that successful and stable relationships between the police and the public are built on trust and legitimacy through fair, equitable, and respectful treatment in law enforcement’s effort to control crime, disorder, and even terrorism. At the center of these discussions are the examination of police use of force practices, the discretionary use of police authority, and the potential biases that might result from uncontrolled discretionary police practices. Evidence-based policing is fundamental to these issues.

*From TRANSLATIONAL CRIMINOLOGY (Fall 2017), pp. 26-27.

The recent developmental reform in juvenile justice has accomplished much.  Looking to the future, what challenges does it face?  How can it best be sustained? 

As the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative came to a close, the Foundation commissioned a panel of experts to forecast the reform’s most likely future challenges and vulnerabilities.  This brief describes the panel’s conclusions and recommendations.  It highlights the need for new ways to sustain a network of collaborators, vigilance regarding changes in society that may require adaptations, and ways in which the reform’s successes can themselves create unexpected vulnerabilities.

In partnership with NCMHJJ and with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Youth Screening and Assessment Partners (NYSAP) has released this guide. The purpose of the guide is to help states or counties develop a forensic evaluation system (FES) for providing courts evaluations of juveniles’ competence to stand trial (JCST).  An FES for JCST evaluations has three components that are described in the guide’s three modules:

  • Module 1: Developing a JCST Evaluation Service Delivery System
  • Module 2: Creating Evaluation Standards
  • Module 3: Quality Control: Developing a Process to Apply the Standards

This guide will be of special interest to state/county directors and managers of child forensic mental health services, juvenile court clinic administrators and clinicians, juvenile court judges and administrators, state juvenile justice advocacy groups, and community providers of services to youth in the juvenile justice system.

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