Master's Project Title:

Abstract: Increasing Knowledge and Developing Tools to Improve Opportunities to Connect Justice-Involved Youth to Preventive Care

MCH Student:

Alexandra Gowdy-Jaehnig

Date of Defense:

May 13, 2020


Objective: Despite experiencing disproportionate health risks and adverse health outcomes, many justice-involved youth (JIY) have inconsistent or no contact with health care providers. This project identified health needs of JIY in non-secure settings, reviewed preventive health care screenings/referrals for JIY, and disseminated the findings. Methods: A literature review, interviews, and survey were carried out and the findings were summarized in a written report and slide presentation for MDH staff members, and incorporated into an educational toolkit for adults working with JIY. Results: JIY face more barriers to accessing and using preventive care than non-JIY including a shortage of preventive health standards, problems with continuity of care, and lower likelihood of having health insurance. JIY also experience higher mental, sexual and dental health needs. Conclusions: This project is an important first step towards increasing knowledge about JIY and preventive care and developing tools to improve opportunities to connect JIY to preventive care.