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19 Dev. Mental Health L. 1 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/dvmnhlt19 and id is 1 raw text is: Developments in
Mental Health Law
The Institute of Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy - The University of Virginia
Volume 19, Number 1                              January-June 1999
Barriers to Meeting the Mental Health Needs of
Juvenile Offenders
by Richard E. Redding*
Mental illness and substance abuse are significant risk factors for
delinquency, and many youth in the juvenile justice system have mental health
problems. Studies have
consistently found very high
prevalence rates of mental illness  Also in this issue:
among detained and incarcerated
juveniles, and juvenile offenders  Federal Courts ................... 5
generally (see Cocozza, 1992;     Virginia Courts ................... 9
Policy Design Team, 1994). It is  Other State Courts ............... 12
estimated that between 77-93% of  Book Reviews ................. 23
juvenile offenders have mental
health problems, far higher than
the 10-20% prevalence rate found
in the non-delinquent adolescent
population. Indeed, many        0_
juvenile offenders have multiple
mental health problems, and
about 15-20% have a serious mental illness (Cocozza, 1992; Cocozza, 1997). High
rates of substance abuse and learning disabilities also are found in this
Early screening and intervention for mental health and substance abuse
problems is important in preventing some juveniles from entering the juvenile
justice system in the first place and in preventing recidivism or offense escalation
Richard Redding is an Assistant Professor of Law and Psychology, General Faculty at the
University of Virginia, Institute of Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy. The research for this paper
was supported by a JJDP Challenge Grant (No. 97-JE-FX-0051) awarded by the Virginia
Department of Criminal Justice Services. Findings and recommendations of the needs analysis
do not necessarily represent the views of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services,
the Institute of Law, Psychiatry & Public Policy, or the University of Virginia.

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