Purpose: This paper presents a nationwide solution based on diversion for the increasing propensity of youth in school with behavioral problems becoming involved in the justice system.
Design: The design was structured by the professor’s subheadings: student’s personal experience, research, valid resources, application to proposed solution, actual evidence-based solution, alternative solutions not chosen, assumptions, barriers, feasibility of solution, and social reaction to change over time.
Findings: The solution is based on extensive examination of many state and community programs and reports. Instead of formal processing by school officials or police officers, this solution describes a wrap-around model—the informal processing of youth by
many stakeholders, including school administrators, police officers, community leaders, and parents. Students with antisocial behavior could avoid referral to the formal justice system, avoiding often inhumane treatment.
Research limitations/implications: Limitations include the lack of commonality of individual states’ regulations, ratification in the legislative process, and nonparticipation of elected prosecutors for political gains.
Practical implications: With multiagency collaboration, deviant youth with behavioral problems can be directed to needed services, such as substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, teaching of life skills, mentoring, and family-parental education.
Social implications: This solution could save many youths from the traumas of the prison system and recidivism and increase their possibilities of success in later life.
Originality: The solution is original and valuable because of the wraparound aspect, in which psychological, practical, and social elements of the youth are addressed.
Keywords: behavioral health, detention, diversion, juvenile justice, wraparound