, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 485-494

Who Is Referred to Mental Health Services in the Juvenile Justice System?

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We describe the mental health referral rate among youth in a correction facility, examine how sociodemographic and criminal history characteristics relate to referral, and explore how these variables and diagnostic class differ by referral source. Data were abstracted from case records. The referral rate was low (6%). Non-Latino youth, repeat offenders, and violent offenders were more likely to be referred compared to all detained youth. Referral source also varied by violent offense history and diagnosis type. Future studies examining access to mental health services should take into account a detained youth's sociodemographic, criminal history, and clinical characteristics.