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Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification among Juvenile Justice Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2013
12 pages
This paper presents a set of tools and procedures for screening and assessment suicide risk among justice involved youth.
This paper from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention presents a set of tools and procedures for use in screening and assessing suicide risk among justice involved youth. As noted in the paper, identifying suicide risk among youth is a critical component of the juvenile justice systems efforts to prevent suicide. In order to accomplish this, the juvenile justice system needs to have a set of procedures for screening and assessing these youth, and for identifying and using treatment methods that will reduce the presence of suicide risk among these youth as it relates to their development. Following a discussion of characteristics shared by the most useful screening and assessment tools, this paper describes the most frequently used suicide risk or risk-reduction tools currently employed in juvenile justice settings. These tools are the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire, the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised, the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version, and the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs - Short Screener. The paper also describes five assessment tools used in clinical settings: the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment, the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children, the Voice-Diagnostic Schedule for Children-IV, and the Million Adolescent Clinical Inventory. In order to successfully implement suicide screening and assessment tools, three situations need to be in place: clear and explicit policies must be developed on how, when, and by whom the tools will be administered; staff must be properly trained on using the tools; and periodic monitoring for quality of administration and use of the tools must be conducted. References