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NCJ Number: 216185 Find in a Library
Title: Overcoming Sisyphus: Effective Prediction of Mental Health Disorders and Recidivism Among Delinquents
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:70  Issue:2  Dated:September 2006  Pages:19-28
Author(s): Albert R. Roberts Ph.D.; Kimberly Bender M.S.W
Date Published: September 2006
Page Count: 10
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of proper mental health and associated risk assessment for juvenile offenders and describes several assessment measures that are widely used for juvenile assessments.
Abstract: The goal of juvenile risk assessment is: (1) to predict the probability that a juvenile offender will reoffend; (2) to predict which juvenile offenders are at high risk of using violence while in a juvenile detention or treatment facility; and (3) to determine the treatment and intervention needs of the juvenile offender. Despite the prevalence of mental health and substance abuse disorders among juvenile offenders, researchers have found that the assessment and treatment of juvenile offenders with mental health disorders is one of the most overlooked areas of juvenile justice. The authors call for experienced mental health practitioners to be hired by juvenile justice agencies so that they can conduct comprehensive assessments at the preadjudicatory, incarceration, and community release stages. Juvenile Assessment Centers (JACs) are described, which are central intake centers for juvenile offenders that provide assessment, treatment, and other intervention services under one roof. JACs were developed in Florida and have since attracted national attention and funding. The components of risk and needs assessments for juveniles are described and four main assessments are recommended for all juvenile offenders: (1) risk needs should be assessed immediately upon admission to a secure facility; (2) a comprehensive mental health assessment should be conducted to identify those juveniles in need of more comprehensive mental health assessments; (3) all juveniles should be assessed prior to community reentry to ease the transition and provide community referrals; and (4) continued re-assessments should continue to take place after community reentry. The authors review several actuarial and structured clinical assessment instruments, including three brief screening tools, three comprehensive assessment tools, and three assessment tools for the evaluation of recidivism and dangerousness. Future research is needed to expand current mental health assessment tools to better identify chronic juvenile offenders. References, tables
Main Term(s): Assessment (juvenile); Juvenile program needs assessment
Index Term(s): Assessment centers; Juvenile mental health services; Offender mental health services
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