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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2006;34(2):204-14.

Mental health care in juvenile detention facilities: a review.

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Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Juvenile detention facilities have come under increasing legal pressure to provide mental health services to detainees, and mental health clinicians may be asked to design and implement programs in detention facilities. However, there is little consensus on what types of services should be provided, and virtually no data on the effectiveness of such services in a detention setting. The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the existing literature on mental health services in juvenile detention and to make suggestions about future research needs. Specifically, it highlights the tension surrounding the provision of mental health care in juvenile detention, presents data on the prevalence of psychiatric problems in detention settings and what types of services are currently provided, and draws on the larger child and adolescent mental health literature to suggest what types of services might be most appropriate for juvenile detention settings. We conclude that, although there are some suggestions of promising interventions that may be appropriate, much more research, specifically in detention settings, is needed to determine their effectiveness.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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