Use of Psychiatric Medications in Juvenile Detention Facilities and the Impact of State Placement Policy
- 422 Downloads
The use of psychotropic medications is a significant factor in the overall effort to respond to detained youth with mental illness, yet there are very few studies of psychotropic medication use in juvenile detention settings. It is important to understand the factors that influence the use of mental health services and psychoactive medications in these settings since youth with emotional problems are overrepresented in them. This paper addresses the proportion of youth in these settings who receive mental health services and psychoactive medications. In addition, the impact of a major statewide policy change—the shift of juvenile placement responsibility from the state to local government—on these proportions was examined using 8 years of publicly available data from county probation departments. Multivariate regression analyses of 1,760 observations of quarterly reports from 55 counties showed that the use of both mental health services and psychoactive medications in detention facilities increased concurrently with the policy change. While these proportions had already been gradually increasing in these facilities, it appears that after the policy change they increased even more. This contradicts the aim of most juvenile justice planners—to divert non-violent youth offenders with emotional problems away from incarceration settings and towards community based treatment alternatives. If adequately available, these support services could provide diversion alternatives to prevent inappropriate detentions, and to provide post-detention treatment to prevent lapses in continuity of care and, ultimately, to prevent reoffending.
KeywordsJuvenile justice Mental health Psychotropic medications Detention facilities Placement
- Asanova-Taylor, S. (2012, April 27). Closing juvenile facilities sparks debate, Capital News Service. Retrieved from http://news.jrn.msu.edu/capitalnewsservice/2012/04/27/closing-juvenile-facilities-sparks-debate/.
- Burrell, S., & Bussiere, A. (2005). “Difficult to place”: Youth with mental health needs in California juvenile justice. San Francisco, CA: Youth Law Center.Google Scholar
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2005). Juvenile detention profile summary: Annual report, 2005. Sacramento, CA: Author.Google Scholar
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (2011). Juvenile detention survey: Online Query (2011). Retrieved Nov 15, 2011, from http://www.bdcorr.ca.gov/joq/jds/query.asp?action=q.
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Office of Research. (2010). Youth population overview as of Dec 31, 2010. Retrieved Oct 30, 2011, from http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Juvenile_Justice/DJJ_Quick_Facts/Youth_Population_Overview.html.
- California State Commission on Juvenile Justice. (2009). Juvenile justice operational master plan: Blueprint for an outcome oriented juvenile justice system. Sacramento, CA: Author.Google Scholar
- Cohen, E., & Pfeifer, J. (2008). The costs of incarcerating youth with mental illness: Final report of a statewide survey. Sacramento, CA: Chief Probation Officers of California.Google Scholar
- Grisso, T. (2004). Double jeopardy: Adolescent offenders with mental disorders. Chicago: IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Harrell, J. (2012, June 11). State closing South Bend juvenile facility because of declining numbers, Indiana Economic Digest. Retrieved from http://indianaeconomicdigest.com/main.asp?SectionID=31&SubSectionID=66&ArticleID=65335.
- Mendel, R. A. (2008). Detention reform in rural jurisdictions: Challenges and opportunities. In B. Lubow (Ed.), Pathways to juvenile detention reform (Vol. 15). Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
- Plan to close juvenile detention centers pits advocates against labor. (2012). The State Journal Register (SJ-R.com). Retrieved from http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1640250474/Plan-to-close-juvenile-detention-centers-pits-advocates-against-labor.
- Shufelt, J. L., & Cocozza, J. J. (2006). Youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system: Results from a multi-state prevalence study Research and Program Brief. Delmar, NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice.Google Scholar
- Stambaugh, L. F., Leslie, L. K., Ringeisen, H., Smith, K., & Hodgkin, D. (2012). Psychotropic medication use by children in child welfare. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning Research and Evaluation Report #2012-33. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Mericle, A. A., Dulcan, M. K., Washburn, J. J., et al. (2007). Psychiatric disorders of youth in detention. In C. L. Kessler & L. J. Kraus (Eds.), The mental health needs of young offenders: Forging paths toward reintegration and rehabilitation (pp. 7–47). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- U.S. Department of Agriculture-Economic Research Service. (2004). Measuring rurality: Rural–urban continuum codes. Retrieved Nov 11, 2011, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/rurality/ruralurbcon/.
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform. (2004). Incarceration of youth who are waiting for community mental health services in the United States. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar