adolescents; juvenile justice; incarceration; health


Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health


Justice-involved youth suffer from a range of health problems. Using health and social science databases, we summarize findings from studies reporting rates of physical health problems among youth in the juvenile justice system published between 2006 and 2017. A total of 23 were identified, with the majority examining sexual health problems and focusing on youth confined to correctional facilities. Although fewer studies focused on non-sexual health problems and non-detained youth, findings suggest disparities across some physical health problems impacting youth within various levels of justice system involvement. Given the health risks faced by justice-involved youth and their long-term consequences, more studies examining their physical health status is needed to create targeted interventions that address disparities for this high-risk group.

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