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Juvenile Delinquents, Mental Health Needs of

A significant number of justice-involved youth experience mental health disorders, including those related to trauma. Some youth are only mildly affected by their symptoms, and others experience major difficulties in day-to-day living. Not only do incarcerated youth have a constitutional right to mental health treatment but also effective treatment could help curb the high risk of suicide among this population, reduce their emotional/psychological suffering, and help them better utilize programs focused on reducing recidivism. Providing these services effectively, however, is one of the biggest challenges faced by facilities housing delinquent youth. Funding challenges, underqualified mental health professionals, and a more punitive culture can all make effective mental health assessment and treatment less likely. Furthermore, diagnoses and subsequent treatments tend to focus primarily on behaviors, rather ...

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