Racial Disparities in Community Mental Health Service Use Among Juvenile Offenders.

Research paper by Thomas W TW Wojciechowski

Indexed on: 16 Nov '18Published on: 16 Nov '18Published in: Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities


Investigate differences in community mental health service utilization by race among a sample of juvenile offenders in the time surrounding adjudication for a serious offense. It was predicted that racial minority youth would demonstrate lower utilization of these services. The Pathways to Desistance data were used in analyses. This consisted of the responses of 1354 juvenile offenders. Wave 1 of the data was used in analyses. Logistic regression models were used to examine the relevance of racial identification and control covariates for predicting odds of receiving community mental health services during the prior 6 months. Results indicate that Black youth had lower odds of receiving all types of community mental health services, relative to White participants. Hispanic juvenile offenders had lower odds of receiving several types of services also, relative to White juvenile offenders. Findings indicate that minority justice-involved youth utilize community mental health services in the time surrounding adjudication at lower rates than White juvenile offenders do, a net of all effects. This may be indicative of additional barriers to service use and possible institutionalized racism which restrict mandating of services which may reduce mental health symptom severity and risk for recidivism among minority juvenile offenders.