JAMA Pediatrics recently released an article that discusses the prevalence, continuity, and comorbidity of psychiatric disorders among youth over a 15-year period following their release from a youth detention facility. The article is based on findings from the OJJDP-funded Northwestern Juvenile Project, the first large-scale longitudinal study of delinquent youth's mental health outcomes after detention.
The researchers found that 64 percent of males and 35 percent of females with a psychiatric disorder during detention continued to have a disorder 15 years later. The study also shows that these disorders were more common among White youth than Hispanic and Black youth.
The results suggest that persistent psychiatric disorders may complicate the transition from adolescence to adulthood among youth who have experienced detention. The authors recommended that the pediatric health community advocate for early identification and treatment of disorders among this population.