Erin M. Espinosa, PhD
Director of Research
Erin M. Espinosa, PhD, joined Evident Change in 2019 as a senior researcher. Prior to joining Evident Change, she served as the Director of the Texas Center of the Institute for Innovation and Implementation out of the University of Maryland’s School of Social Work, and as a consultant for the Child, Adolescent, and Family Branch’s (CAFB) Children’s Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). She began her career in social justice practice as a case manager at an all-girls juvenile justice facility and then served as a juvenile probation officer before moving on to the state juvenile justice agency in Texas.
In her more than 20 years working in and researching child- and family-serving systems at the local, state, and national levels, Erin has published widely, presented research findings, conducted trainings, provided technical assistance, and undertaken or directed a wide range of implementation- and research-related efforts in juvenile justice and children’s mental health. Her primary research interest is in using and translating data to bridge research to policy and practice.
Recent publications from Erin Espinosa:
Espinosa, E., & Vincent, G. (In press). Juvenile justice behavioral health screening and assessment: Using the System of Care framework to build on reform. Washington, DC: The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Mental Health.
Kruh, I., Espinosa, E., Warren, J., & Alkema, A. (In press). Remediation of juvenile competence to stand trial and system of care. Washington, DC: The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Mental Health.
Vincent, G., Espinosa, E., & Nussbaum, W. (2018). Adolescent charged with assault of a parent: Assessment and treatment approaches. Washington, DC: The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Mental Health. http://www.nysap.us/pdf/NYSAP-ADB-brief-FINAL.pdf
Espinosa, E., & Skowyra, K. (2015). Diverting youth at probation intake: The front-end diversion initiative. Research and Program Brief, 2(1). Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. https://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/FEDI-ARIAL-508-final.pdf
Espinosa, E., Henke, T., Farrell, J., & Sulzbach, D. (2015). Merging care with control brief I: Why engage juvenile justice in system of care. Washington, DC: The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Mental Health. https://theinstitute.umaryland.edu/media/ssw/institute/hub-resources/systems-integration/Merging-Care-with-Control-Brief-I.pdf
Espinosa, E., Henke, T., Farrell, J., & Sulzbach, D. (2015). Merging care with control brief II: How to integrate juvenile justice into system of care. Washington, DC: The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Mental Health. https://theinstitute.umaryland.edu/media/ssw/institute/hub-resources/systems-integration/Merging-Care-with-Control-Brief-II-How-to-Integrate-JJ-into-SOC.pdf
Peer Reviewed Articles
Kempker, S., Schmidt, A., & Espinosa, E. (2016). Understanding the influence of mental health diagnosis on placement decisions for justice-involved youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(7), 1562–1581. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0572-5
Espinosa, E., & Sorensen, J. (2015). The influence of gender and traumatic experiences on length of time served in juvenile justice settings. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 43(2), 187–203. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854815605540
Espinosa, E., Sorensen, J., & Lopez, M. (2013). Youth pathways to placement: The influence of gender, mental health need, and trauma on confinement in the juvenile justice system. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42(12), 1824–1836.
Colwell, B., Villarreal, S., & Espinosa, E. (2012). Preliminary outcomes of a pre-adjudication diversion initiative for juvenile justice involved youth with mental health needs in Texas. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 39(4), 444–460.
Hartzler, B., & Espinosa, E. (2010). Moving criminal justice organizations toward adoption of evidence-based practice via advanced workshop training in motivational interviewing: A research note. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 22, 235–253.
Espinosa, E., Belshaw, S., & Osho, G. (2008). Justice by gender: Understanding the role of gender in disposition decisions involving out of home placement for juvenile offenders. American Journal on Criminal Justice, 33, 267–281.
Espinosa, E. (2016, April 11). Alternatives for justice-involved youth with mental health needs finally start to appear. Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.https://jjie.org/2016/04/11/finally-alternatives-for-justice-involved-youth-with-mental-health-needs/
Espinosa, E. (2015, July). Medicaid doesn’t have to be a dirty word in Texas. Dallas Morning News. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2015/07/07/erin-espinosa-medicaid-doesnt-have-to-be-a-dirty-word-in-texas
Audio and Video
Espinosa, E. Interview with A. Shapiro. (2015, October 2). Proportion of Girls in Juvenile Justice System Is Going Up, Studies Find. All Things Considered, National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/2015/10/02/445346727/proportion-of-girls-in-juvenile-justice-system-is-going-up-studies-find
Espinosa, E. (2014, June 16). The Texas Front End Diversion Initiative (FEDI). National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, Policy Research Associates, Inc. Recorded video of the initiative. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEObcl7SXpw