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Erin G. Romero

“Research suggests that incarcerated youth have difficulty functioning in society as they age. This study reveals that 3 years after detention, most youth struggle in one or more life domains, and one in five youth is severely impaired [they face extreme difficulties in dealing with social, psychiatric, and academic issues from day-to-day] … Juvenile justice organizations, community groups, law enforcement, and corrections agencies must invest in targeted, comprehensive strategies to give these youth a chance to experience productive and healthy lives” (p. 3). The Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) was used to rate individuals on eight domains of function—school/work, home, community, behavior towards others, moods/emotions, self-harm, substance use, and rational thinking. The authors examined impairment overall, impairment within domains, differences by age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and functional impairment in males and their incarceration status. Recommendations suggested for public policy initiatives are: connect more youth with community services after detention; target services to those youth with the greatest need; and make sure long-term interventions are provided.

Functional Impairment in Delinquent Youth Cover

“This bulletin examines the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a prospective longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. The authors discuss their findings on the prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees and PTSD’s tendency to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders” (p. 1). Sections of this bulletin include: highlights; methods—measures; findings about trauma (overall rates, and specific trauma), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), precipitating traumas, prevalence of trauma by gender and race/ethnicity, prevalence of comorbid psychiatric disorders among youth with and without PTSD, and prevalence of PTSD among youth with and without specific psychiatric disorders; discussion about trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, comorbid disorders, and demographic characteristics; study limitations; directions for future research; and conclusion. Of the youth studied, 92.5% have had at least one traumatic experience, 84% have had more than one trauma, and have had 56.8% six or more events.

PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth Cover
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