Headlines – State’s Lawyer Anne Colt Leitess Declares Licensed Counselor Shantae Elliot-Lucas Will Lead Juvenile Justice Therapeutic Disaster Intervention Program

Annapolis, Md. – Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess is pleased to announce the hiring of Ms. Shantae Elliott-Lucas who will lead the Office of the State’s Attorney’s newly formed Juvenile Justice Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Program.

Ms. Elliott-Lucas, a Licensed Certified Professional Counselor, will collaborate with the State’s Attorney’s Office, along with Anne Arundel County Schools, Department of Juvenile Services, Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency’s Crisis Response System to identify juvenile offenders in crisis, assess and connect those youths and their families to trauma informed critical services and provide case management and counseling as needed. The goal of this two-year grant funded program is to assist youth in grades six through nine by providing intervention services that will reduce their risk of becoming involved in criminal activity and increase the likelihood that they will remain in school. Ms. Elliott-Lucas will work with Anne Arundel County Schools and other agencies to identify students who may benefit from counseling and mentorship. She will also connect them to holistic services such as the Anne Arundel County School’s Behavioral Support Services, mental health or drug evaluations, treatment and trauma informed therapy. The program aims to assist at least 20 students per month and will report its efforts and progress to the US Department of Justice which provided the grant funding.

“I am extremely pleased that our office has the ability to serve young people during a time that they are vulnerable and may be at risk for committing criminal offenses. We want to intervene during this critical time,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “Negative choices can adversely impact their entire future. Under the leadership of Ms. Elliott-Lucas, we hope that this program will help support their needs and development. Each child deserves a chance and it’s my hope that by providing these resources and working with our partnering agencies, each child will thrive and do better in the community.”

As a co-owner and therapist at Transformation in Color since April 2021, Ms. Elliott-Lucas is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and uses an eclectic approach to help her clients. Prior to starting her private therapy practice, Ms. Elliott-Lucas spent many years working with both adults and children, including as the Mental Health Crisis Coordinator for Prince George’s County Correctional Center. She was also a Child and Family Therapist at Advanced Behavioral Health, a Lead Therapist at Cheltenham Youth Detention Center and the Regional Mental Health Director for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Jessup Region.

Ms. Elliott-Lucas received her master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, returning later as an adjunct professor for more than three years, and her bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Trinity Washington University.

This innovative, smart prosecution program is funded by a grant awarded (15PBJA-21-GG-03881-SMTP) to the State’s Attorney’s Office by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

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