They’re the kids nobody wants.  They’ve committed crimes, some of them petty, some of them heinous.  They’re oppositional, they’re defiant.

They’re scared.  They’re angry.  They’re dangerous, not least of all to themselves.

We mobilize legions to deal with them:  Judges, law enforcement, parole officers, counselors, teachers, case managers, but their problems persist.  Once they’re “in the system,” they only seem to escalate.

Many of them, maybe most, are addicted.  Many more have a ‘rap sheet’ of other diagnoses.  Conduct Disorder.  ADHD.  Depression.  Eating Disorders.

We want to help them.  But do we have the tools we need?

It starts with understanding the problems.

In this series, RecoverySI Principal Scott McMillin addresses the challenges of treating the juvenile offender, and provide practical tools and information to improve outcomes.

See also: A Bigger Picture: Juvenile Crime

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