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Crim Behav Ment Health. 2011 Feb;21(1):21-34. doi: 10.1002/cbm.783.

Incarcerating juveniles in adult prisons as a factor in depression.

Author information

1
Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore, Singapore. swknyhi@nus.edu.sg

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While existing research has shown higher prevalence of depression among incarcerated youths compared with non-incarcerated youths, none has studied incarceration as a cause of depression.

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:

This study suggests that incarceration, in particular placement of youths in adult incarceration, is a factor in developing depression.

METHOD:

A records based comparison of depression among youths in different types of incarceration with non-incarcerated youths, controlling for other predictors of depression, namely offence type, family poverty, parents' history of incarceration and demographic profile.

RESULTS:

Youths in adult placements were significantly more likely to be depressed than youths in juvenile placements and community-based youths.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS:

The findings suggest that there are mental health implications against incarcerating youths in adult prisons, a concern that current juvenile justice might not have considered adequately.

PMID:
20625981
PMCID:
PMC3732830
DOI:
10.1002/cbm.783
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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