In 1997, there were approximately 2.1 million juvenile arrests. From 1988-1997, the overall juvenile arrest rate increased by 22. % (Cohler, B.J.& Fredman, D.H.(2004)) “In 1997 the juvenile violent crime rate was approximately 30% greater than the average rate of the years between 1981 and 1988, and juveniles’ represented 17% of all violent crime arrests and 35% of all property crime arrests.” (Cohler, 2004)
The prevalence of undiagnosed mental health issues among youth in the juvenile justice system requires an immediate response to action along with systematic changes in the categorization of adolescents who are remanded to correctional facilities. Many of the two million children and adolescents arrested each year in the United States have an undiagnosed mental health disorder’ (McCurdy, Barry L and E.K. McIntyre. 2004) “As many as 70 percent of youth in the system are affected with a mental disorder, and one in five suffer from a mental illness so severe that it impairs their ability to make rational decisions as well as function as responsible adolescents who go on to become contributing members of society.” Howell, J.C. 1995
In the 1800s the United States copied the British youth oriented residential facilities model, better known as the “Poor Law” The law had several major objectives and categorized citizens into classifications that identified how they would exist or contribute to the greater society. The classifications were as follows:
• The impotent poor those who could not work were to be cared for in almshouse or a poorhouse. The law offered relief to people who were unable to work: mainly those who were "lame, impotent, old and blind".
• The able-bodied poor were to b...
... middle of paper ...
... care and rehabilitation for the whole child, not just the juvenile behavior. RTC’S provide treatment for issues such as; Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Residential treatment centers also provide structure for educational issues, some personality disorders and phase of life issues, as well as drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Residents seem to responds better to the one-on-one attention as well as the support received from the community it encompasses. “By contrast, programs that are unsuccessful in reducing recidivism include deterrence programs such as boot camps and “shock” probation programs
(e.g., Scared Straight), and individual or group counseling sessions that lack clear plans to address offenders’ problems” (Andrews et al., 1990; Dryfoos, 1990; Jensen and Rojek, 1992)
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