Our Work

SBDI (The Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative)

DIVERTING YOUTH FROM ARREST

The Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) works to reduce juvenile justice involvement among youth with mental health needs.

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Research shows that youth with mental health needs are more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system.

  • Schools are one of the primary referral sources to the mental health and juvenile justice systems. 
  • Many children who are arrested in schools have unmet behavioral health needs.
  • Approximately 65% to 70% of youth in juvenile detention have a diagnosable behavioral health condition.

SBDI works with local middle and high schools to:

  • Provide training to help school personnel identify children with behavioral health needs
  • Build connections between schools and effective community-based mental health services, as an alternative to arrest, suspension and/or expulsion
  • Revise schools’ policies and practices to increase capacity for responding to themental health needs of all students

SBDI has served 48 schools across 17 school districts and continues to expand to additional schools each year.  SBDI schools have reduced court referrals by 34% and connected 47% more students to behavioral health services (calls to 2-1-1 Mobile Crisis Intervention Services).

SBDI was initially developed with grant funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network. SBDI implementation is jointly funded and overseen by the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the State Department of Education (SDE), and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). CHDI is the coordinating center for SBDI.

For more information about SBDI, visit www.ctsbdi.org, read our IMPACT report, download our SBDI Toolkit, or contact Jeana Bracey.


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Jeana Bracey - Director of School and Community Initiatives
bracey@uchc.edu
860-679-1524
Yecenia Casiano - Project Coordinator
casiano@uchc.edu
860-679-2336
Tianna Hill - Project Coordinator
thill@uchc.edu
860-679-6293