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Young offenders' health critical to rehabilitation
Date:6/19/2009

The physical and mental health needs of juvenile offenders should be treated as a priority if offenders held in detention have any real hope of rehabilitation, according to new research from the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Adelaide researchers have conducted a comprehensive review of previous studies into the health of young offenders undertaken in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia since 1997.

The results of the review have been published in this month's Australian Journal of Primary Health.

"Health - both mental and physical health - is an issue that has a serious impact on young offenders," says lead study author Dr Anne Wilson, Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Nursing.

"The health of young offenders is commonly poorer in comparison with the general youth population. Previous studies document the growing concern for the health of young offenders, including their risk-related behaviors, mental health, social and family problems, and other physical health deficits.

"The underlying problems affecting these young offenders need to be addressed as a priority if they are to be successfully rehabilitated and reintegrated into the community," she says.

The review, co-authored by PhD student Phillip Tully in the School of Psychology, found:

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