Thursday, April 04, 2013

Mentally ill in youth prisons outnumber gang members

The number of mentally ill youth locked up in Texas Juvenile Justice Department secure facilities now exceeds the number of gang members, AP reported this week.

12 comments:

Prison Doc said...

Interesting article. I apologize in advance, I don't work in Juvie so I try not to comment on Juvie.

But recent attention in the medical field has been focused on OVER-DIAGNOSIS and OVER-TREATMENT of children and adolescents. These writers have been mainly critical of various ADD and ADHD diagnoses and treatments with stimulant medication.

"Bipolar" also seems to be the disease of the 21st century, with that diagnosis hung around the neck of anyone who gets angry or fights, and also seems both depressed and happy within the same week. It is sloppy diagnostic work which has become commonplace in psychiatry these days.

I think one needs to have a healthy skepticism about whether these young people are really mentally ill, or do they just have sociological problems with living such as non-intact families, poor parenting, substance abuse in the home or a whole host of other issues that are more common than true mental illness.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm sure Perry would link juvie mental health to border security and the second amendment, so don't expect any reforms from his direction.

Rage

Soronel Haetir said...

I would also expect that there would be overlap between these two sets, perhaps even significant overlap. I have a hard time ascribing much meaning to "X outnumbers Y" when X and Y are not exclusive of each other.

Anonymous said...

I agree that too many of them have been placed on too much medication to control them due to being shor staffed. I also think a lot of their problems come from staff who don't care about them and or are not qualified to be in the positions they are in. When there is so much instability within an agency it does hurt the kids. Instead of picking the next person in line we need to find the perfect person to be an ED or Head of Security. At Ron Jackson that is not the case. There are a lot of staff who are not cut out for the job and call the kids names, provoke them and make things worse.

Anonymous said...

As long as there is a check attached to a mental health diagnosis, you will see the numbers increase.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:01 has it pegged. Follow the money: mental health diagnosis--more money for research grants, dollars from drug companies. Who knew????

JH said...

I am not sure 4:01 - many counties are sending fewer and fewer juveniles to TYC commitment. From my perspective, the kids who are being sent may have more mental health issues which cannot be adequately addressed by local juvenile probation offices.

Ashanti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lets be honest, historically Counies have always and will always send the most difficult juvenile into a State lock up. If anyone states otherwise they are not be honest or work for one of these counties.
It has slowed down since the two agencies combined but this has always occurred. Thus you look better on the ounty side when it comes to treatment because you can pick and house who you keep.
I see where the House budget is asking for 15.7 million from TJJD, this does not bed we'll for the remaining 6 facilities, something will have to close, maybe more than just one. But it is ironic that TDCD is given more money with no closures (House version).

Anonymous said...

And idiots running TJJD outnumber both the mentally ill and gang members!

Anonymous said...

I'd expect in the next few weeks to learn of central office reductions in staff and one facility closure. While the session has been quiet the staff in the field are consistently complaining about leadership and working conditions. Don't expect much change there as the leadership is arrogant and touts their accomplishments with ferver and claims the accomplishments of others as if they are their own. No accountability though.

Anonymous said...

It took way to long for TJJD executive management to figure out the CFO they hired was incompetent, a fact that should of been obvious from the start. In the wake was a body count of tenured correctionally smart accounting and finance staff that are now serving Texas at other agencies. Hopefully it won't take them as long to see what a shambles the facilities are in.