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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, when we began providing technical assistance for use of NYSAP’s mental health screening tool, the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2).

NYSAP has six objectives:

  • Nationwide and global support for users of the MAYSI-2 for mental health, substance use, and trauma screening in juvenile justice programs;
  • Assisting juvenile justice programs to select and successfully implement risk / needs and mental health screening and assessment tools;
  • Development of risk/needs assessment strategies, offering ways to meet youths’ needs related to their delinquencies, reduce recidivism and increase public safety;
  • Strategies and data analysis for quality assurance related to use of screening and assessment tools;
  • Helping states reform their laws, practices and forensic evaluations regarding juveniles’ competence to stand trial; and
  • Translational research that studies delinquent youths’ mental health and risk for re-offending, then promotes and evaluates the most effective use of tools in everyday juvenile justice practice to assess and change them.   

Contact us to inquire about assistance from NYSAP on MAYSI-2 and other youth mental health, risk and needs screening and assessment questions in juvenile justice programs.

NYSAP States

Juvenile Justice Publications

***Newly Published***

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.


Adolescent Domestic Battery Typology Tool Manual & Executive Summary (2015)
by Wendy Nussbaum, LCPC, Stuart M. Berry, MSW, LISW, Shannon Hartnett, M.A., and Gina Vincent, Ph.D.

ScreeningAssessmentSuicidePrev Identifying Dual Status Youth
with Trauma-Related Problems (2015)
by Amy Wevodau, Ph.D., Keith Cruise, Ph.D., M.L.S., & Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.
Trauma in Dual Status Youth: Putting Things in Perspective (2015)
by Thomas Grisso, Ph.D., and Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D.


RA in JJ Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification among Juvenile Justice Youth (2013)
by the Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
How to Get the Most Out of Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice (2013)
by Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., and Laura S. Guy, Ph.D.


Developing Statutes
Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation (2012)
by Gina M. Vincent, Ph.D., Laura S. Guy, Ph.D., and Thomas Grisso, Ph.D.

News Updates:

U.S. Supreme Court holds Miller retroactive, providing review opportunities for youth

StateScan: Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice Services

Tom Grisso

Tom Grisso


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