Juveniles Incarcerated in Adult Correctional System Have High Mental Illness Rates

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Jails and prisons need to be ready and prepared to render developmentally and culturally apropriate mental health care to youth incarcerated in the adult correctional system as the rates of psychiatric disorders are high among this population.

In Illinois, approximately 70 percent of juveniles who were transferred to the adult criminal courts after being charged with a crime were found to have at least one diagnosable psychiatric condition. In addition, youth from the detention center who were sentenced to prison had more than double the chances of having a mental disorder compared to those who were not sentenced to a prison term, according to a study published in the September Psychiatric Services.

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