Screening the mental health needs of youths in juvenile detention

Philip D. Nordness, Michelle Grummert, Dennis Banks, Michelle L. Schindler, Mallie M. Moss, Ken Gallagher, Michael H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


There is an increasing number of juveniles coming into the justice system with a variety of mental health and substance abuse concerns. While the actual number of youths with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system has been difficult to determine, it is estimated to be substantially higher than it is for youths in the general population. In addition, researches have estimated that a high number of these juveniles experience co-morbid mental health disorders. The purposes of this study was to examine the number of youths who present symptoms of a mental health disorders at intake into a juvenile detention center in the Midwest. Two hundred-four youths were assessed with the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second Version (MAYSI-2; Grisso & Barnum, 2000), a mental health screening instrument. At least 68% of the youths identified symptoms of a mental health disorder at intake. Given the significant number of youths who identified symptoms of a mental health disorder at intake into detention, the need to provide mental health services for juvenile detainees should not he ignored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalJuvenile and Family Court Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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