Youth in the Juvenile Justice System - PREP

Youth in the Juvenile Justice System


Adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system are often exposed to a variety of risk factors that can contribute to increased sexual risk behavior. Since detained youth report earlier sexual debut than their peers, interventions targeting this population should begin early.

Many of these youth report depressive symptoms, drug use, gang involvement, exposure to community violence, and sexual abuse. Important topics to include in programming for youth in juvenile justice are intimacy, communication, assertiveness, gender role expectations, and problem solving, in addition to the reproductive basics of anatomy, physiology, and contraception.

(Gowen, L. K., & Aue, N., Eds., 2011. Sexual Health Disparities Among Disenfranchised Youth. Portland, OR: Public Health Division, Oregon Health Authority and Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University).

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