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In preventing and reducing juvenile delinquency, we must address not only the crime but what brings our children into the juvenile justice system.  According to the Justice Policy Institute, there is approximately 93,000 youth who are in the juvenile justice facilities (F. Antoinette Burriss, 2013).  We need to face the underlying problems such as mental health problems that are affecting our children.  The increase in mental health needs is becoming overwhelming.   We need to solve these problems by designing and implementing effective treatment.  What is very interesting is a suicide is increasing. 

 

So, we need to recognize the mental health needs of our youth.  According to Joseph and Kathleen, we know very little about the mental health needs of our youth who are in the juvenile system (Skowyra, 2000).  What happens is families have no idea how to deal with these children, so they turn to the juvenile justice system expecting them to be able to fix their child.  This places another problem because now they are placed in a county facility with a mental health issue.  The facility is not equipped to address the underlying clinical components of the child.  Placing the poor child in this environment will just exacerbate the problem.  Also removing the child from their family and isolating them is also increasing the medical problem (Problems facing the juveile justice system, 2006).

 

We have mental health courts for juvenile’s and these courts are to provide a positive and effective alternative to incarceration for the child with mental health problems with psychiatric nurses who are playing a key role in implementing the program.  The nurse is a professional focused on working with the child, family, and communities to help support the specific needs of the child and family.  The nurse will provide a continuum plan of care with the child and family specific needs (F. Antoinette Burriss, 2013).  A forensic psychiatric nurse plays a critical role in the expeditious and accurate assessment of the child for potential and early development of treatment plans to reduce the potential of harm (F. Antoinette Burriss, 2013).  The nurse is a major addition because they can assess stabilize the child with mental health concerns and help the child to accept the support and the leadership offered. 

 

Finally, it is proven that a psychiatric nurse practitioner can play an essential role in reducing mental health issuers for the child.  The nurse’s knowledge of the psychological problems faced by the child I general, coupled with their ability to quickly assess, stabilize and develop a threat met to plan, makes the nurse a well equipped and a major addition to the fast-paced juvenile justice environment (F. Antoinette Burriss, 2013).  With the nurse, involvement will provide much-needed support to the child and families of the mental health issues.

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