Professor Of Criminal Justice, Temple University
- The Cascade framework has the potential to guide informed change in behavioral health services that are available to juvenile offenders.
In the article, “The Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Services Cascade: A New Framework for Measuring Unmet Substance Use Treatment Services Needs Among Adolescent Offenders,” Belenko and his co-author share their framework designed to understand the need for substance use treatment for juvenile offenders. There are gaps between identifying and treating behavioral health (BH) problems in youth offenders and the existing framework cannot bridge this gap. The researchers proposed a framework called the Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health Services Cascade (Cascade), which helps practitioners identify research needs, develop potential solutions, gather data and have a platform to track and meet goals. The researchers provided Cascade support to 35 juvenile justice agencies and their BH partners and collected data to understand the agency’s goals, training procedures and treatment services. The results showed that the Cascade framework has the potential to guide informed change in behavioral health services that are available to juvenile offenders. The authors note that this framework needs to further develop its measures, interventions, and implementation programs for use in the variability of experiences.