Health problems run riot through youth justice system

Young people in custody or serving community-based orders suffer from depression, substance abuse and dependence at significantly high rates.

A survey of over 500 young offenders found a prevalence of mental health problems, self-harm and drug addiction, suggesting a link between poor health and criminal activity.

The study suggests that the disastrous mental health and substance abuse of young offenders trapped them in a tumultuous cycle of offending and reoffending.

The researchers recommend investment in health and vocational training for troubled young people going through the justice system, recommending that early intervention could help prevent further crimes.

Read more at The University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, Murdoch Children's Research Institute