Welcome to the Juvenile inJustice Behavioral Health Lab

The UCSF Juvenile inJustice Behavioral Health (JJBH) Research Team includes a program of research aimed toward improving behavioral health outcomes for youth involved in the justice, child welfare, and foster care systems. Studies aim to improve youths’ physical, mental, and emotional health; reduce drug and alcohol use; reduce HIV/STI risk behaviors; prevent recidivism; identify ways to improve access to and engagement in health care for these youth, thereby reducing health inequities.


of adolescents entering juvenile detention centers have a diagnosable mental health need.

First-time court-involved adolescents who are diverted from detention and supervised in the community also have significant mental health treatment needs:

1 in 3

have a history of psychiatric diagnosis.

1 in 5

have a history of inpatient hospitalization.

1 in 2

have current psychiatric symptoms severe enough to require treatment.


Leveraging technology and trauma-informed approaches to increase access to behavioral health care for underserved youth and families.


Youth nationally are under juvenile court jurisdiction


of youth report an average of 3 Adverse Childhood Experiences at first point of legal contact


of youth in community supervision require substance use treatment


or fewer of justice-involved youth receive treatment for any psychiatric disorder after release from detention


of caregivers of justice-involved youth reported interest in online behavioral health interventions


Our goal is to strengthen the bonds young women have with themselves, their families, and their communities. We provide clinical interventions as part of research trials.

Intensive Case Management

One-on-one meetings with a case manager to focus on targeted goals identified by youth.

Art of Yoga Project (AYP)

Trauma-sensitive yoga sessions and expressive arts, in pertnership with AYP.

Young Women's Groups

Weekly group sessions that cover topics such as relationships, communication, and wellness.

Mental Health Services

Up to 1 year of individual or family therapy to address behavioral health needs.

Family Advisory Board

Quarterly meetings involving community members aimed at improving behavioral health services for San Francisco's adolescent and young women.


JJBH in the news.

June 17, 2024

Health and Human Services Resilience Challenge

As part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda and Mental Health Strategy, HHS selected JJBH’s FostrSpace […]

View Now
May 26, 2020

The science of happiness

For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, and MPR’s “Call to Mind” initiative: A program about “The […]

View Now
April 21, 2020

Born This Way Foundation: Building Kinder Communities, Supporting the Well-being of Students and Improving Mental Health Resources

The Commonwealth Club and Born This Way Foundation Invite you to a conversation focused on […]

View Now
April 7, 2020

Commonwealth Club Conversation | The Science of Happiness during COVID-19

Happiness may seem elusive even under ideal circumstances, let alone under current conditions that have […]

View Now
January 15, 2020

Patrick Kennedy and an Expert Panel: Mental Health, Youth and the Justice System

Part of The Commonwealth  Club’s series on mental health, dedicated in memory of Nancy Friend […]

View Now
August 12, 2019

San Francisco To Close Its Juvenile Hall By The End Of 2021

San Francisco is closing its juvenile hall, part of a reform effort to move away […]

View Now
April 26, 2019

Juvenile hall costs skyrocket

The annual cost of incarcerating a youth in juvenile hall in California has doubled over […]

View Now
June 1, 2018

Vanishing Violence

Violent crime by youths in California plummeted over the past two decades and arrests of […]

View Now
April 1, 2018

LGBT+ youth face tougher time as first offenders, study finds

Teens who get in trouble with the law have high rates of substance abuse and […]

View Now
August 1, 2017

Anxiety Epidemic Envelopes San Francisco Girls

For the past three years, Dr. Andrea Zorbas has worked at the San Francisco Stress […]

View Now



Key Components of Effective Pediatric Integrated Mental Health Care Models: A Systematic Review

Factors Associated With Use of Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment Services by Justice-Involved Youths

The Prospective Impact of Family Functioning and Parenting Practices on Court-Involved Youth’s Substance Use and Delinquent Behavior

Adverse childhood experiences among justice-involved youth: Data-driven recommendations for action using the sequential intercept model

Outcomes of a family-based HIV prevention intervention for substance using juvenile offenders

Mental Health Symptoms and Parenting Stress of Parents of Court-Involved Youth

The role of family functioning in parenting practices of court-involved youth

The Path to Implementation of HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis for People Involved in Criminal Justice Systems

Outcomes of the “STEPS” HIV prevention training program for young males in the penitentiary institution, Ukraine

Sexual Minority, Justice-Involved Youth: A Hidden Population in Need of Integrated Mental Health, Substance Use, and Sexual Health Services