Erin M. Espinosa, Ph.D.

Erin M. Espinosa, Ph.D.

Social Sciences/Humanities Research Associate

Erin is a Research Associate within the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. She has worked on several project implementation and evaluation efforts targeting activities designed to enhance services for youth with mental health needs,  including those associated with the efforts of the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Action Network (MHJJAN),  the Texas Recovery Focused Learning Community (RFLC) and the ASSET planning grant.

Erin has published a variety of articles on issues related to youth with mental health needs and the juvenile justice system to include systemic responses and the implementation of evidence-based programs and practices. She currently serves as the implementation manager and training and technical assistance lead for the Texas System of Care, and as a key  collaborator for The Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change, providing technical assistance and training  alongside a select group of local and state leaders in the juvenile justice and mental health fields.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Mental health and juvenile delinquency, juvenile competence, gender related issues, trauma and the implementation of evidenced based practices and programs.


  • Ph.D., Prairie View A&M University
  • M.P.A., Angelo State University


Faculty Publications

Most recent articles
  • Espinosa, E., Sorensen, J, & Lopez. (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..
  • 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.
  • 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.


Hartland Plaza

Room:HLP 335G

Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358