Last Updated 02 Aug 2020

Juveniles With Mental Disorders

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Among Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders In Mississippi. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. 35 (1). 55-74. Review of Article This article examined how 14-20% of Juveniles that are incarcerated at Youth Detention facilities suffers some type of diagnosis for a mental disorder and 9-13% can be classified as having a serious emotional disturbance.

This rate is very high and shows that the majority of children involved in the Juvenile delinquent system uffers some type of mental illness. This article examine a study conducte dover a 6 month period in 2000 for youth from ages of 12-18. They were found in nine long term youth detention facilities and two long term training schools. The Juveniles had a range of offenses that included aggravated assault, manslaughter, truancy, robbery, trespassing, running away. DUI, and drug offenses. Goal of Study There were actually three goals for this study.

The primary goal of the study was to determine the poing prevalence of mental Illness, substance abuse and co-occurring ental health and substance abuse disorders of Juveniles held in Mississippi detention centers and training schools. The secondary goal was to determine the types and severity of problems by gender. The third goal was to examine the geographic differences and similarities in mental health and substance abuse disorders among Incarcerated youth In Misslsslppl compared to other states.

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Methodology (subjects, number of subjects, research design, Independent and Dependent Variables) The subjects that participated in the study were youth, both male and females between the ages of 12-18 years old. The number of subjects that participated in the study was 482. The youth were incarcerated in long-term juvenile correctional facilities called training schools and nine Juvenile detention centers during a 6 month period in 2000. The youth were approached in groups and Individually. There were 64. 3% (292) males, 65. 4% (297) blacks, 31 . 7% (144) whites and 2. 9% other racial/ethnic groups.

The average age for the participants was 15. 3 years. The way that data was research was different at the detention centers and training schools. At the detention centers, Master's level mental health counselors visited ach facility on a weekly basis, approached newly detained adolescnts, and collected measures from consenting youths on an individual basis. The Adolescent Psychopathology Scale (APS), a standardized diagnostic questionnaire, and the Juvenile Detention Interview were collected. The counselors answered 16 mental stattus indicators based on their observation of the adolescent.

Interviewers then noted their clinical Impressions. In the training schools, groups of 20-25 Juveniles 1 OF3 the test aftering explaining the purpose of the study. Adolescents that needed ssistance with reading were helped individually. The Juvenile Detention Interview and clinical observations were not conducted at the training due to time constraints. The APS is a 346 item self report measure of adolescent psychopathology that directly evaluates teh severity of symptoms associatd with specific Diagnostice and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Axis I Clinical disorders and Axis II Personality disorders.

The APS assesses behaviors that interfere with successful psychosocial adaptation and person competence. The APS has a third grade reading level and is esigned for administration to youth 12-19 years of age either individually or in groups. The APS is composed of 20 Clinical disorders, 5 Personality disorders, 1 1 Psychosocial Problem Content, and 4 Response Style Indicator scales. The findings from this study found that Juvenile offenders have high rates of mental and substance abuse disorders.

The most common disorders were ADHD, Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Over half of the offenders in this study met criteria for conduct disorder and 35. 2% for disruptive disorder. The Juvenile Detention Interview is a 30-45 minute face to face semi-structured nterview that records psychosocial history and includes alcohol and other drug use, mental health problems, and a number of risk factors associated with dlinquency involvement and criminal recidivism.

Master's level clinicians collected information on reason for the youth to be admitted to Juvenile detention, youth education/ employment history, home environment, social environment to include gang membership, alcohol/drug use, family history, menal and medical treatment history. The interview also included 16 mental status questions that were completed by the nterviewer b ased on observation of the Juvenile during the interview process. The Juvenile Detention Interview was developed as a mental health and substance abue screening and triage form specifically for use in Juvenile detention centers.

There are many advantages of this interview process; it does not require special training to administer, could be administered in the time allotted, and provides a basis for initial clinical impressions and services needs. Findings It was found that 17-22% youth had mood disorders, 10-20% had depressive disorders and only about 7% had some type of anxiety disorder. Females were more likely to score higher for Major Depression than males and were more likely to meet criteria for PTSD. Males rated higher for Conduct Disorder.

The implications of this study found that many Juveniles mental health needs are going unmet and that mentally ill Black youth are more likely to be placed in Youth Detention facilities and mentally ill White youth are more likely to be placed in psychiatric hospitals. This study has shown that mental health screening are needed to help identify which juveniles are in need of mental health services so that they can get the services eeded to hopefully prevent them from coming back to detention facilities and committing more crimes, routine follow-up is also necessary.

The findings of the study were used to assist administration of Juvenile Justice and mental health services for Juvenile offenders. RESPONSE In my opinion in this article the mental health needs of the youth were going unmet because the state instead of focusing the time that was actually needed and using licensed professions they wanted to use shortcuts for time and did not use certain standardized instruments because of time constraints and because mental health linicians did not have to be licensed they were of adequate use for the facilities which were cheaper to use versus the expense of a licensed counselor.

I am pretty sure that many Juveniles are Just thrown into detention centers because it is thought that incarceration is therapy when actually it is not; it is actually a hinderance to those who really need help, but the state does minimum for those who are incarcerated and that is a known fact. There is a lack of medical attention and treatment if not only Juvenile facilities, but Jails and prisons for adults as well.

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