Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Mental health report

Evidence of an association between the presence of a mental health report and confinement at the disposition hearing stage was found in all three studies that investigated the mental health aspect, even after controlling for the legal factors, type of offence and prior record.

 Moreover, the presence of a mental health report increased the likelihood of a residential placement by more than 25 times.

Although this association has been determined, specific elements in mental health reports may have played a part as well. The reports might have contained information regarding the juvenile offenders’ prognoses, thus swaying the decision of the judge. Considering that juvenile judges are only legally trained and ordinarily possess little medical knowledge, they have to rely upon these reports in order to determine the existence of mental disorders and the possible consequences of these disorders on the juvenile offender’s functioning.

Juvenile courts may be more responsive to juvenile offenders’ mental health needs when they receive thorough clinical information and take this information, or certain elements of it, into account when deciding to order a residential placement.

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