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Lundi 18 Novembre 2019

Salle de Presse

Presidential Candidates Are Refusing To Address One Issue: The Country's Juvenile Justice System

Monday 5th of August 2019 | Amerique du Nord, États-Unis
Forbes
Nouvelle

As the 2020 presidential election ramps us, discussions have turned to key voter issues such as health care, the economy, race relations, and justice reform. But the truth is, all of those issues – and many others like education, housing and food security – are equally impacting our most vulnerable population: children. Yet it seems debate over juvenile justice and youth mental health is never on the presidential docket.

To be fair, it’s a topic that goes woefully neglected around the world, as more countries find that they have a lack of capacity and resources for meeting children’s needs. But while politicians get caught up in Twitter fights about sanitation, banning plastic straws or arguments about the nuances of Medicare, our nation’s most defenseless youth hang in the balance.

So what do our leaders need to know about children at risk of losing their lives to our juvenile justice system? First and foremost, that the prevalence of mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system is more than three times higher than in the general youth population. A large majority of youth who find themselves in the juvenile justice system (70%) have one or more diagnosable mental health or substance use disorders. And this doesn’t account for the contextual trauma of prevalent comorbidities such as poverty, victimization, post-traumatic stress, and poor education opportunities that contribute to untreated mental health issues.

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