Youth Incarceration clinical trials at University of California Health
1 research study open to eligible people
open to eligible people ages 16-24
A vicious cycle exists between adolescent substance use disorders and youth incarceration. Re-wiring adolescent social networks during community reentry after incarceration can potentially break the cycle of adolescent substance use and youth incarceration. Social networks influence adolescent substance use and delinquent behavior, yet little is known about how to intervene on social networks to improve health. Community reentry is a key opportunity to re-set youths' social networks and re-direct high-risk youth toward a healthier, more supportive network that can foster drug abstinence and reduce recidivism. The investigators hypothesize that an adult who has successfully navigated reentry can guide youth to rewire their social network by encouraging pro-social relationships, troubleshooting basic barriers to healthcare and social services, and helping create linkages to substance use and mental health treatment services. The goal of this study is to measure the impact of a pilot intervention to address two key barriers to accessing behavioral health treatment among recently incarcerated youth: poor care coordination and need for more positive support from the social network. The proposed study intervention, the Whole Person Care (WPC) Reentry Program, is based on the successful adult Transitions Clinic model, and is being adapted for delivery to transition age youth (TAY) by community partners in the Los Angeles County justice system. WPC community health workers (coaches) will provide recently released inmates a formerly incarcerated adult role model who provides care coordination and social support to facilitate access to needed health services, and who actively intervenes to guide TAY youth toward pro-social peers and adults. The investigators propose a pilot longitudinal study of WPC, using a community-partnered participatory research approach. The primary outcome will be reductions in adolescent substance use in response to the intervention (Aim 1). Secondary outcomes will test whether the intervention increases receipt of behavioral health services, decreases recidivism and mental health symptoms, and improves school and work engagement (Aim 2). Finally, the investigators will examine social networks as a potential mechanism by measuring whether youth receiving the intervention report healthier social networks (lower proportion of peers engaging in risky behaviors and a higher number of supportive adults) than control youth (Aim 3).