Mentally Ill Kids in Jail as Help Is Cut

Brief

Mentally Ill Kids in Jail as Help Is Cut

They Become Trapped in Criminalizing System
September 15, 2004

Abstract

[San Jose Mercury News] Nearly 2,000 children in need of mental health treatment are languishing in America's jails. A Congressional report reveals that in two-thirds of all states, mentally ill youth are locked up, often without charges, simply because no local treatment is available. Despite such sobering facts, many states are cutting back services for mentally ill youth. To break this vicious cycle, better mental health assessment at the justice system's front door is needed and the juvenile justice system and communities need to provide a range of services, including coordinated cross-agency case management of mentally ill youth.

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