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Mental Health Issues in California’s Juvenile Justice System

Published May 26, 2010, Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice

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Young delinquents diagnosed with mental illness have been incarcerated at steadily higher rates in California's juvenile justice system for nearly a decade. Yet these young offenders rarely receive effective treatment for their mental health disorders. This failure is due in part to improper screening and diagnoses, inadequate access to mental health professionals or treatment facilities, and deep budget cuts.

A new report, Mental Health Issues in California's Juvenile Justice System takes a closer look at these issues, and offers recommendations to policymakers, local officials, and practitioners on concrete ways to reform the system. The report is a project of UC Berkeley School of Law's Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (BCCJ). The center convened a unique group of defense and prosecuting attorneys, police officers, academics, and advocates to participate in the project.


Supported by

Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.