South Dakota state officials are seeing a higher success rate in their juvenile diversion program. Some say it’s because they’re using telehealth to connect kids at risk with needed healthcare services.

Telehealth may be improving clinical outcomes, reducing costs and easing provider stress, but it’s also giving South Dakota state officials something else to smile about: the growing success rate of the state’s juvenile diversion program.

According to a recent report from the South Dakota Juvenile Justice Oversight Council, a connected health platform has helped state corrections officials connect more at-risk youths with clinical and behavioral health services. This, in turn, has boosted the success rate of the state’s diversion program from 77 percent in 2018 to almost 84 percent in 2019.

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