Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Behavioral Health Problems, Treatment, and Outcomes in Serious Youthful Offenders

Juvenile Justice Bulletin: Behavioral Health Problems, Treatment, and Outcomes in Serious Youthful Offenders This bulletin from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention examines the overlap between behavioral health issues and the risk of future offending, and the delivery of mental health services to youth involved with the juvenile justice system post-release. The findings are based on The Pathways to Desistance study, in which more than 1,300 youth from Philadelphia and Phoenix were interviewed for a period of 7 years after their convictions to learn what factors lead them to either continue patterns of antisocial behavior or justice system involvement, or desist from offending. Findings include: (1) compared with their peers, youth with behavioral health problems other than substance use disorders do not have a higher risk of reoffending; (2) youth with substance use disorders are more likely to have negative outcomes in comparison to their peers without substance use disorders; and (3) a substantial percentage of youth with mental health and substance use problems did not receive services in residential settings. In addition, even fewer such youth received community-based services.

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