skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 217878 
Title: Assessment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Needs in Juvenile Justice (From Social Work in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Settings, Third Edition, P 133-150, 2007, Albert R. Roberts and David W. Springer, eds. -- See NCJ-217866)
Author(s): Cathryn C.. Potter; Jeffrey M. Jenson
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After examining the prevalence of mental health and substance abuse among youth in the juvenile justice system, this chapter discusses the various services and tools used in the juvenile justice system to address these needs.
Abstract: Studies have shown that approximately 25 percent of youth entering the juvenile justice system have mental health needs. The prevalence of symptoms of mental disorders is greater among youth in higher security levels, and it is higher for girls than boys. Also, between 70 percent and 90 percent of youth in the justice system report lifetime use of alcohol and/or illicit drugs; approximately 50 percent have indicated substance use in the past year. Mental disorders and substance abuse often co-occur in youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Most States have developed or are developing mental health assessments for youth entering the juvenile justice system. To date, these efforts have been limited mostly to screening processes that identify problem symptoms. The chapter lists the questions that should be asked when choosing an assessment instrument. Substance abuse screening instruments enable juvenile justice personnel to assess the likelihood of a substance abuse problem. Such instruments are short, easily administered, and effective in identifying those who may benefit from a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Although effective standardized instruments can aid in identifying youths' mental health and substance abuse needs, they cannot substitute for trained staff who understand critical clinical issues. The juvenile justice system has not traditionally developed roles for such clinicians. Further, treatment program development is also needed. Assessment instruments and protocols are only useful if those identified with problems can be referred to treatment programs matched to their needs. 1 figure, 88 references, and a list of 9 resources
Main Term(s): Juvenile processing
Index Term(s): Diagnostic and reception processing; Juvenile drug abusers; Juvenile drug treatment; Juvenile drug use; Juvenile mental health services; Mental disorders; Mentally ill offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.