Mental Health Care of Detained Youth and Solitary Confinement and Restraint Within Juvenile Detention Facilities

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2016 Jan;25(1):71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Oct 17.


Justice-involved youth are a complex and heterogeneous population with extremely high rates of mental disorder, trauma, and numerous other psychosocial stressors. Although working with this population has several challenges it can be highly rewarding for clinicians and a powerful opportunity for prevention of subsequent problems. Psychosocial interventions remain some of the most robust and effective interventions targeting specific developmental deficits common in this population. Medication treatment is also often appropriate. Seclusion may be clinically appropriate in some cases and is seen as distinct from disciplinary interventions such as isolation or solitary confinement, which are generally not appropriate.

Keywords: Isolation; Juvenile detention; Juvenile justice; Mental health treatment; Seclusion; Solitary confinement; Trauma-informed care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / rehabilitation*
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*