Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders: Practice and Public Opinion

Jacqueline K. Buffington-Vollum, Sam Houston State University
Scott Vollum, Sam Houston State University
Dennis Longmire, Sam Houston State University

Public opinion survey results regarding mental health needs of juvenile offenders are presented in the context of current trends in juvenile justice practie and policy. Specifically, questions were asked gauging attitudes regarding juvenile offenders with mental health problems and the criminal justice response to such offenders. Public attitudes about the degree of accountability, level of supervision, and mental health treatment for juvenile offenders with mental health problems are assessed. Questions ascertain wehther or not respondents favor mental health treatment for such offenders and at what level of supervision treatment should be implemented. Implications for juvenile justice policy and potential legislation are considered.

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Updated 05/20/2006