KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Youth Justice Struggles to Address Mental Health

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas lawmakers are working to reform the discipline system that critics call the school-to-prison pipeline.

Lawmakers have filed dozens of bills to remove criminal sanctions for youthful behavior. But experts say mental health plays an important role in the struggle to emerge from adolescence on a solid path.

Figures obtained through the state's open records law show nearly 1,100 cases of substance abuse or dependence among the 1,411 youths in custody of the Juvenile Justice Department.

The most prevalent single diagnosis is 770 cases of conduct disorder.

Those who work closely with young offenders say the decriminalization movement fails to account for the full scope of the problem. They say signs of mental illness are easily overlooked or misinterpreted even by well-intentioned parents and teachers.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, Trolling or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to comments@kbtx.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus
KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 198806061