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Mindful of the Consequences: How Improving the Mental Health of D.C. Youth Benefits the District

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In Category : Place Based Reform, Youth Justice

Improving public safety in D.C. depends on a comprehensive approach that involves multiple strategies spanning all City agencies. One facet of such a comprehensive approach is to improve outcomes for youth so that fewer become caught up in the justice system, a victim of crime, or both. This brief is part of a series explaining how improving youth outcomes in D.C. can also result in better public safety outcomes for the District as a whole.

The power of good mental health is underestimated in maintaining safety and wellbeing within D.C.’s communities. But, as our understanding of brain science expands, the connections between public safety and health promotion are increasingly clear. Historically, the role of mental health as a crucial component of overall wellness and health has been “misunderstood and often forgotten.”


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Mindful of the Consequences is the third and final report in a series of research briefs released by JPI in 2012/2013 to show how the District could improve public safety and outcomes for youth through positive social investments. The rest of the briefs in the series can be found below:

Working for a Better Future: How expanding employment opportunities for D.C’s youth creates public safety benefits for all residents

The Education of D.C.: How Washington D.C.’s investments in education can help increase public safety

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