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Youth in the Juvenile Justice System And Their Mental Health Needs (2016)

Youth in Juvenile Hall are often at a critical crisis point. By the time a youth reaches Juvenile Hall, they have often been metaphorically “screaming for help” for a very long time. In other words, it may be that no one is paying attention to the family’s challenges and dysfunctions, the youth’s trauma or emotional pain or serious learning disability. Often the youth enters Juvenile Hall without even knowing that they have been “trying to get attention” because their problems are long past the healthy time of grieving, are overwhelming, and no longer recognizable as a problem, but are experienced as a way of life (p. 1). This guide helps to describe these problems. Sections illustrate and explain: using one column of Mental Health Descriptions (Behaviors That May Be of Concern to Mental Health) and one column of Corresponding Juvenile Justice Descriptions covering Oral, Physical, Self-Preservation, and Commonly known Behaviors of Concern, Sexual; Behaviors that by themselves with none of the above are Oppositional / Defiant; Information Mental Health Needs/Questions Mental Health Will Have; and Juvenile Justice Best Practices.

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