Essay about Juvenile Offenders with Mental Health Issues

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Juvenile Offenders with Mental Health Issues Adolescence is a critical time of development. During this period there are significant changes in brain development, emotions, cognition, behavior, and personal relationships. It is during this time that most major mental health disorders appear, many of which carry over into adulthood. Behavior patterns such as substance abuse also often develop during this time and may continue throughout adulthood. Many adolescents struggling with mental health issues begin to exhibit symptoms such as acting out at home or in school, showing a decreased interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, or bringing home poor grades. Others ultimately are charged with offenses ranging from status…show more content…
(Puzzanchera, Adams, and Sickmund, 2011) While mental health issues are not always indicative that a juvenile will act out, a much higher percentage of juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system, an estimated 50-75% (based on conflicting data from multiple sources) of youth in juvenile detention facilities, have diagnosable, untreated mental disorders. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, established in 1974 and most recently reauthorized in 2002, created a partnership between the federal government and the states to protect youth in the juvenile and criminal justice system, address delinquent behavior, and improve community safety by preventing juvenile crime and delinquency. The JJDPA is responsible for the operation of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention, provides a juvenile justice planning and advisory system in each state, and provides federal funding for delinquency prevention and improvements in state and local juvenile justice programs. Under the JJDPA there are four major streams of funding for the Federal-State partnership: (JJDPA, 2007) • The Formula Grants Program (Title II) • The Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs (Title V) • The
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