New York's Detained Youth Lack Coordinated Mental Health Care

The New York Times: "The State of New York does not have a single full-time staff psychiatrist charged with overseeing the treatment of the 800 or so young people who are detained in state facilities at any given time." The Times reports that all 17 psychiatrists at the detention facilities in the state's juvenile justice system are working either on contract and part time. "Weeks often pass between their visits with each troubled youth, and state officials say their turnover rate is very high." A report in August by the federal Justice Department "criticized the state for failing to properly diagnose juveniles' mental health problems, administering medication inappropriately and making inadequate treatment plans." Gov. David A. Paterson's proposed budget would add $18.2 million to enhance services at the prisons (Bosman, 2/10).

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