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Pediatr Nurs. 2002 May-Jun;28(3):278-81.

Failure of mental health policy--incarcerated children and adolescents.

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  • 1Catholic University, Washington, DC, USA.


The difficulty surrounding mental health treatment of juvenile offenders is often a struggle to balance the overall social need for security with the needs of the individual. Rather than recognize the mental health care needs of youth in the juvenile justice system, the current health care environment will often shift responsibility and service costs for the most difficult to manage clients, creating a prison system that acts as a mental hospital. This article will discuss the disparities in accessing treatment for juveniles and review key legislation that addresses child mental health needs.

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