Rate Of Mental Illness Exceeds Gang Membership In Texas’ Juvenile Detention

In Texas juvenile detention facilities, the rate of mental illness now exceeds the rates of those affiliated with a gang, according to an Associated Press analysis. Substance abuse and dependency are particularly rampant, affecting almost 1,100 of the current 1,411 inmates. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department’s director said last month that the percentage of mentally ill incarcerated youths spiked from 39 percent in 2007 to 56 percent in 2013, demonstrating that the problem of criminalizing mental health problems is not isolated to adult jails and prisons.

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