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In Mental Health Care, Are We Treating the Symptom But Not the Cause?

New America Media quotes CJCJ’s Nisha Ajmani on the ineffectiveness of mental health treatment for youth in detention for whom detention is often re-traumatizing. 

From the article:

Attorney Nisha Ajmani, who manages the sentencing service program with the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and works with young people in the juvenile justice system, says that a history of difficult childhood experiences is the norm for young people in detention. Even if a kid doesn’t have a mental health disorder or a diagnosis, most of these kids have experienced a traumatic event in their lives, whether it’s exposure to community violence or domestic violence, or being abused or neglected, or living in poverty,” she says. Being in detention can re-traumatize young people, says Ajmani, and people familiar with the juvenile justice system tend to agree that it’s difficult to deliver effective mental health treatment in a detention environment.

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