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Carol L. Kessler, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, 622 West 168 Street Vanderbilt Clinic-Fourth Floor New York, NY 10032 USA
Problem-solving courts search for young people's strengths, and endeavor to support youth with needed educational, vocational, health, and mental health services. They seek to deliver services in a culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate manner, and they strive to link youth to effective aftercare. The youth court model evolved gradually over the last half century. Restorative justice conferences base their effectiveness on "principles of control, deterrence, and reintegrative shaming". Developers of mental health courts recognized the silo effect of two systems, mental health and juvenile justice, working independently to address the needs of the same severely emotionally and behaviorally disturbed youth who commit delinquent acts. Juvenile drug courts, mental health courts, and peer courts are innovative responses to justice-involved youth that restore the rehabilitative mission of the juvenile justice system. They promise to avoid the economic, and more importantly, the human cost of detention and punishment.
Carol L. Kessler, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York,
Louis J. Kraus, Womans Board Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Chief Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Carol L. Kessler, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian, The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, 622 West 168 Street, Vanderbilt Clinic-Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10032 USA
This chapter reflects the dedication of a diverse group of professionals to the needs of an oft neglected population. With the realization that most justice-involved youth silently suffer from mental health problems, professionals have begun to seriously study both the prevalence of the disorders, and how they might effectively be treated. The chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the book, which indicates the broad range of child and adolescent mental health needs in the juvenile justice system. The book points to strategies for screening and for assessing mental health issues, and it also indicates emerging evidence-based treatment interventions. For paths toward rehabilitation and reintegration to be forged, and for knowledge to be translated into effective interventions, communities must commit resources to these at-risk youth. The chapter also presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.
The majority of young people in the American juvenile justice system have diagnosable mental illnesses, including substance abuse, mental retardation and learning disorders. However, these often remain undetected and untreated. In this book, a team of experts examines the prevalence of mental disorders in this population and describes the means of screening for, diagnosing, and treating them effectively in a developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive manner. They also examine psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic approaches; innovative alternatives to detention; the true costs of detaining youth; vulnerability to self-incrimination; and the alarming trend of minority confinement. Their comprehensive coverage includes discussion of ethical dilemmas and the need for preventive strategies and integrated approaches involving judicial, law enforcement, educational, and mental health professionals. This book will be of interest to both mental health and juvenile justice professionals.
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