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NCJ Number: 221698 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health of Young Offenders Serving Orders in the Community: Implications for Rehabilitation
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:45  Issue:1/2  Dated:2007  Pages:123-148
Author(s): Dianna T. Kenny; Christopher J. Lennings; Paul K. Nelson
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 26
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the outcomes of screening for mental health concerns in young offenders serving community orders with the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Juvenile Justice.
Abstract: Highlights of the results include: (1) relatively high rates of mental health problems were identified in the sample of youth; 40 percent had scores in the severe range for the externalizing disorders, Conduct Disorder or Substance Abuse Disorder; (2) there were few gender differences; however, young women on community orders appeared to have significantly lower levels of psychopathology than their incarcerated counterparts; (3) comorbidity was identified in 18 percent of the young offenders serving community service orders; (4) self-harm and suicide attempts were reported by the sample at similar rates to a sample of incarcerated young offenders; and (5) the community-based sample of young offenders had lower levels of psychopathology compared to incarcerated young offenders. The study revealed that community offenders tended towards similar overall rates of psychopathology as incarcerated offenders, but had lower rates of comorbidity. Young offenders in the community showed high rates of externalizing disorders, substance abuse and child abuse/neglect. They remain a highly psychologically vulnerable population with high rates of psychological distress. The pattern of findings reported provides a strong mandate and direction for intervention with this vulnerable, disadvantaged group of young people. Young offenders internationally have a higher incidence of mental health problems compared with general population adolescents. Most information on the mental health of young offenders has been derived from studies of incarcerated young offenders. This study investigated young offenders serving 800 community-based orders in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Tables, figures and references
Main Term(s): Juvenile psychological evaluation
Index Term(s): Australia; Community service order; Community service programs; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Comparative analysis; Comparative criminology; Juvenile offenders; New South Wales; Young juvenile offenders
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