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Assessing Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Disorders in Juvenile Detainees

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
2 pages
This fact sheet addresses the issue posed that a significant percentage of youth involved in the juvenile justice system have unmet needs for mental health and substance abuse services. Without effective treatment, many youth will continue to engage in behaviors that endanger themselves and their communities, and go on to become part of the adult criminal justice system
In 1995, a baseline study was conducted that examined alcohol, drug and mental disorders among 1,830 delinquent youth held in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. The Northwestern Juvenile Project was a longitudinal component added to the study in 1998. Preliminary results, from the baseline study, showed that two-thirds of the youth had one or more alcohol, drug, and mental (ADM) disorders. In addition, preliminary data suggested that, nationwide, more than 670,00 youth processed in the juvenile justice system met diagnostic criteria for one or more ADM disorders, requiring treatment. The lack of effective treatments for youth in the community increased the burden on juvenile justice facilities. Project goals are described, as well as, additional preliminary findings and implications. 1 reference

Date Published: January 1, 2001