Mental Health Issues among Minority Offenders in the Juvenile Justice System

Elizabeth Cauffman and Thomas Grisso

in Our Children, Their Children

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226319889
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226319919 | DOI:
Mental Health Issues among Minority Offenders in the Juvenile Justice System

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Disproportionate levels of minority confinement combined with high rates of mental health problems among confined youths have created negative images about the role of the juvenile justice system in meeting the rehabilitative needs of minority youths with mental health problems. This chapter addresses the mental health issues among offenders in the juvenile justice system and examines mental disorders among minority offenders in particular. It begins with a review of mental health definitions and moves to issues of measurement and evidence of mental disorders among juvenile justice youths, examining issues of ethnicity at each turn. The chapter uses the term “ethnicity” or “minority” when referring to race and/or ethnicity. The potential consequences of redefining delinquency as a problem of mental illness are profound, especially for African-American and Latino youths, who disproportionately constitute the population of youths in the juvenile justice system.

Keywords: minority confinement; juvenile justice system; minority youths; mental health; ethnicity; minority

Chapter.  9686 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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