|Many experts have noted the importance of risk and need factors in
developing prevention and intervention strategies for juvenile offenders.
However, few jurisdictions collect information about the risk/need profile
of known youthful offenders or whether their needs are being met. Using
referral data collected in Texas, we estimate the prevalence of mental
health, substance abuse, educational, and family-related needs for youths
referred to seven juvenile probation departments (representing 21% of
referrals statewide). Analyses indicate that the most prevalent
criminogenic needs of juvenile referrals are: problems associated with
parental supervision, school behavior, school attendance, parental/family
problems, disposition/self image, and substance abuse. Additional analyses
suggest that substantial gaps exist between the number of juveniles needing
and receiving programs and services.
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