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NYSAP's Global Initiatives

Tom G
International Juvenile Justice Observatory Interview - Dr. Thomas Grisso. University of Massachusetts Medical School. United States

July 25, 2012 National, United States

In this interview, the Director of Psychology and the Law-Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School talks about the program he manages in the USA providing technical assistance to juvenile justice systems. Dr. Grisso underlines, that we are in need of more research evidence that screening and assessment lead to successful and effective treatment. He also discusses his new area of study aiming at finding ways to improve mental health screening in juvenile justice for young people with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Click here to read the full interview.



In recent years, NYSAP has developed special initiatives to study and improve mental health screening and assessment in juvenile justice in other countries.  In the past decade, NYSAP accepted requests from researchers in 17 countries (Asia, Australia, Europe, the Soviet Union and the Americas) who wished to translate the MAYSI-2 into various languages. NYSAP and the MAYSI-2 publisher make special contractual arrangements with researchers allowing them to translate the MAYSI-2 to other languages for use in their research, as long as the translation is not distributed.   The MAYSI-2 has been translated into 15 languages.

Through contacts like those, NYSAP learned of several researchers in Europe who were using the MAYSI-2 to perform research on the needs of delinquent youth.   In 2010, NYSAP invited these researchers to a meeting in Basel, Switzerland, to interest them in forming an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers studying the mental health needs of young people in Europe’s juvenile justice systems.  

In 2011 the consortium was launched as the International Forensic Screening and Assessment Network for Adolescents—InForSANA.  Members of InForSANA currently include researchers in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Soviet Union, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States.  The central coordinator of InForSANA in Europe is Robert Vermeiren, M.D., Ph.D., at Curium-Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.  

InForSANA believes that there is value in being able to compare mental health needs of young people in juvenile justice across national boundaries.  This is best accomplished with the collaborative use of standardized methods permitting integrated and meaningful cross-national and cross-cultural comparisons of their research results. Toward that end, InForSANA has created a scientific infrastructure to strengthen its potential to produce integrated findings.  This infrastructure permits uniform research methods across sites and studies that use the MAYSI-2 to examine mental health problems among youth.   To further that objective, InForSANA has developed:

  • A uniform set of variables for use in their research data bases (employing a uniform data base system called ProMISe)
  • Standardized language translations of the MAYSI-2 Questionnaire
  • A MAYSI-2 Mini-Manual that is translated into the various languages used in the consortium’s research, thus providing uniform procedures intended for use in all InForSANA projects.
  • Mini-Manual and Questionnaire translations in Arabic, Albanian, Catalan, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian.