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Holistic Representation

The majority of children who find their way into the juvenile delinquency system have unfortunately experienced first-hand many of the injustices and social ills which plague our entire society to include poverty, racism, drugs, gangs, domestic violence, mental illness, abusive or inconsistent parenting, and inadequate schools and education. Often it seems that the delinquency system is not the last-resort intervention for these children but rather the first intervention they receive.

It seems clear that mental health intervention should therefore be an integral part of the system's approach toward addressing juvenile crime. Identifying individual, family, cultural, and community factors, assessing children and family needs; and thereby providing appropriate resource recommendations should routinely occur with every child who enters the system.

In its efforts to provide a best practice, "whole child," or Holistic Representation model, CJJ utilizes an interdisciplinary team.  As such, CJJ will consult with mental health consultants or "experts." The mental health consultant's role is to help provide a contextual understanding of clients; their lives, the offense(s) with which they are charged, and all biological, psychological, social, and other factors which may be impacting them.


These consultants will provide the following services:

  • Bio-psycho-social assessments when needed;
  • Law student education regarding individual, family, cultural, school, and community factors which may be impacting clients, and as relevant to a client's petition;
  • Resource assistance: assessing children and family needs and suggesting resources with the goal of improving functioning and helping to keep clients from re-offending;
  • Disposition recommendations, as well as alternative rehabilitation plans when appropriate;
  • Supervision of law students' case management efforts;     
  • Direct intervention with clients and families, and/or guidance of students in providing interventions; and
  • On-going collaboration and consultation with law students and staff.

If you are in need of legal representation and you are under the age of eighteen or your child is in need of legal representation; please complete and submit the form below and you will be contacted for a free consultation with an attorney:

These additional forms should be reviewed and signed prior to the consultation with the attorney.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Martin Luther King, Jr.