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The Northwestern Juvenile Project finding was not a surprise, but important. “The majority of juvenile offenders transferred to adult criminal courts have one or more psychiatric disorders–and they often go untreated.” Growing up in Chicago I have witnessed numerous individuals stream through the Cook County legal systems. My only description of that legal system, 21st century slave plantation.

The young black male juvenile tried as an adult with mental disorders does not have a chance. He will immediately be injected in with adults who like him may have gone untreated for mental disability. I was arrested for a traffic offense in 1994 and spent 24 hours in the Cook County jail.

“A fucking Mad House.” Its a terror dome.

Jason Washburn, who headed the study, said the juvenile system is flawed, and trying youth offenders as adults may cause more problems than it solves…

About 68 percent of these youths had at least one psychiatric disorder and 43 percent had two or more…

Thus far, kids in detention centers who had serious mental problems like depression, mania and psychosis have been very unlikely to get any attention for their needs,” he said.

The affects of mental illness going untreated could not be understated. It wreak havoc on the person as well as primary relationships and the community. There has to be a concerted effort to bring mental health issues into mainstream black communities.

Until we face up that mental illness is not, “God testing you,” the young black repeat offender will continue to fund college educations for others.

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