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Am J Public Health. 2004 May;94(5):859-65.

Can better mental health services reduce the risk of juvenile justice system involvement?

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, 114 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16801, USA. emfoster@psu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated how improved mental health services affect justice involvement among juveniles treated in the public mental health system.

METHODS:

Our analyses were based on administrative and interview data collected in 2 communities participating in the evaluation of a national initiative designed to improve mental health services for children and youths.

RESULTS:

Results derived from Cox proportional hazard models suggested that better mental health services reduced the risks of initial and subsequent juvenile justice involvement by 31% and 28%, respectively. Effects were somewhat more pronounced for serious offenses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that improved mental health services reduce the risk of juvenile justice involvement.

PMID:
15117712
PMCID:
PMC1448349
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.94.5.859
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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