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NCJ Number: 119157 Find in a Library
Title: Special Considerations in the Inhospital Treatment of Dangerously Violent Juveniles (From Juvenile Psychiatry and the Law, P 333-343, 1989, Richard Rosner and Harold I Schwartz, eds. -- See NCJ-119142)
Author(s): G Faretra; G J Grad
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1983 the New York State Office of Mental Health established an inpatient psychiatric unit for the treatment of a group of adolescents age 13 and over who have been convicted of committing violent crimes and who have therefore been found to require psychiatric hospitalization.
Abstract: The unit houses up to 10 males at any one time. The first 30 youths treated on this unit had committed murders, rapes, assaults, and other violent crimes; were hospitalized for severe psychiatric disorders; often had learning difficulties; and came from families with little structure or support. The staff initially tried to establish a form of therapeutic community with patient participation in some program components and decisionmaking. However, the sociopathy, distrustfulness, paranoia, and tendencies to become aggressive rapidly prevented this approach. Instead, the staff structured the life of the patients on a 24-hour basis with clear guidelines, constant supervision, intolerance of rule transgression, and clear definitions of the conditions for the attainment or loss of privileges. Group therapeutic approaches trying to develop interactions to decide rules failed because of sociopathic behavior. In addition, even educational and therapeutic group approaches were often sociopathically undermined. Efforts focused on maintaining a safe, secure, well-structured setting to permit programming appropriate to the youths' psychiatric and developmental needs as well as special characteristics. Individual psychotherapy with psychotropic medication was attempted as needed, although many youths were unwilling to take medication. Staff have found that reducing the more acute psychiatric symptoms must accompany with efforts to address the antisocial and characterologically disturbed aspects of the youths themselves. 20 references.
Main Term(s): Violent juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Juvenile mental health services; Juvenile rehabilitation
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