Childhood Trauma and the Juvenile Justice System

A significant number of America's youth are involved in its juvenile justice system, and a large percentage of youth in the system has also been exposed to trauma. Recent reports by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention note that over 80,000 youth are detained, with an additional three to four times that number receiving sanctions other than incarceration. Youth in the juvenile justice system suffer from a wide range of traumatic experiences, including additional exposure to trauma while being detained. The disproportionate representation of males and racial minorities in the system also leads to subsequently disproportionately high prevalence rates for exposure to crime, violence, and physical accidents. Childhood exposure to trauma, which the juvenile justice system often fails to adequately identify and ...

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