The Effects Of Youth Offenders In The Juvenile Justice System

708 Words 3 Pages
Review of Literature
Research has confirmed that youth offenders experience a significantly higher rate of diagnosable mental and behavioral health disorders in relation to the general youth population. More specifically, Schubert and Mulvey (2014) reported that, “roughly 50 to 70 percent of juvenile offenders experience a diagnosable mental or behavioral health disorder, whereas only 9 to 13 percent of youth in the general population experience a diagnosable disorder” (p.3). Scholars have also established that youth offenders with such disorders face greater risks at falling victim to the juvenile justice system. Youth with emotional, mental and behavioral health disabilities are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated when compared to
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This growing phenomenon refers to policies and practices that are being used to push students out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system (ACLU, 2008). This is important to address when discussing police encounters with such juveniles because the pipeline reflects the prioritization of incarceration over education. Sadly, “twenty percent of youth offenders with emotional or behavioral health problems reported that they were arrested while in secondary schools” (Holmquist, 2013, p.3). This highlights the relationship between juveniles with mental and behavioral health issues, and the effects of impractical policies and a failed educational system that fuel the school-to-prison …show more content…
Majority of the negative outcomes related to the school-to-prison pipeline are a product of the heightened use of zero tolerance policies that automatically impose severe punishments on students, regardless of any circumstances surrounding an offense (ACLU, 2008). With increased support of zero tolerance policies, youth are constantly at risk of being victimized by the school-to-prison pipeline (ACLU, 2008). Such policies have had a detrimental affect on rates of detention, suspension, expulsion, and even arrests that youth, particularly those with mental and behavioral health disabilities, are experiencing as a response to minor offenses that could be resolved by school administration (Amurao, 2013). Suspension rates have increased from 1.7 million in 1974 to 3.1 million in 2000, being the most dramatic for “minority students, those with a history of abuse, neglect, poverty and disabilities” (Amurao, 2013, p.1). The Civil Rights Data Collection (2014) actually reported that, “students with disabilities, both mental and behavioral, are more than twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension (13%) than students without disabilities (6%)” (p.1). Even more unsettling, reports provided that 92,000 youth were arrested or referred to law enforcement during the 2011-2012 school year, of these youth, those with mental and behavioral health disorders represented a quarter of the population, while they are only 12% of the overall student body” (ACLU, 2008,

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