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Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System
As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders. About two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — who numbered 92,854 in 2006, down from 107,000 in 1999 — have at least one mental illness, according to surveys of youth prisons, and are more in need of therapy than punishment.

approx 2/3 of juvenile inmates have at least one mental illness
92,854 in 2006
107,000 in 1999
states slashing mental health program budgets-->less treatment available
CA inmates from 10,000 in 1996-->1,650 juvenile inmates
32+ states cut community mental health programs by 5% (average) this year
plan to 2x reductions by 2010
juvenile prisons = caretaker of last resort for troubled children since 1980s
number of inmates dependent on psychotopic drugs is increasing
there is a shortage of therapists
some kids get (mentally) worse instead of better in these jails
California's system is violent, neglectful, poorly managed, kids get hurt, try suicide
Ohio: 34% reduction in services dt budget concerns
this means more dangerous and troubled kids in the streets
17 year old male HIV positive sex offender on Abilify and Seroquel
in 2001 9,000 kids were given by families to juvenile justice to get help
Department of Youth Services = DYS
lawsuits in Indiana, Md, OH, TX re: cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners

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