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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Working for Youth Justice and Safety
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OJJDP Bulletin Explores Psychiatric Disorders Among Youth Processed in Juvenile and Adult Courts

October 5, 2015

DetainedYouth OJJDP has released “Detained Youth Processed in Juvenile and Adult Court: Psychiatric Disorders and Mental Health Needs.” The bulletin is part of OJJDP's Beyond Detention series, which examines the findings of the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a large-scale longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL. This bulletin presents findings on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among youth transferred to adult criminal court compared with those processed in juvenile court. Key findings include:

  • Male, African Americans, Hispanics, and older youth are significantly more likely to be processed in adult criminal court than females, non-Hispanic whites, and younger youth.

  • The prevalence of one or more disorders is similar among youth processed in adult and juvenile courts.

  • Youth processed in adult court who were sentenced to prison had significantly greater odds than those who received a less severe sentence of having a disruptive behavior disorder, a substance use disorder, or co-occurring affective and anxiety disorders.

  • Resources:

    Bulletins from OJJDP’s Beyond Detention series are now available in EPUB and MOBI formats.

    Learn more about the Northwestern Juvenile Project, cosponsored by OJJDP.

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