Teenagers in prison are in poor health, especially girls

Teenagers in prison are in poor physical and psychological health. Two studies carried out at the ClairiËre prison for minors in Geneva show that young women are particularly vulnerable.

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Dagmar Haller's team from the Community medicine, primary care and emergencies department at the Geneva University hospitals (HUG), analysed a group of 314 teenagers of between 11 and 19 years old - 18% of which are girls - that were imprisoned in 2007. Among them, 195 received the visit of a primary care physician. What they found is that 80% of them - 78% of the boys and 89% of the girls - suffered from at least one physical problem and 60% from a mental disorder, 50% of the boys and 75% of the girls. Also, two thirds of them abuse legal and illegal substances, tobacco (65%), cannabis (31%) and alcohol (26%). The abuse of other drugs (heroin, cocaine or benzodiazepine ) were very rare. Another study was carried out by Ariel Eytan's team from the HUG mental health and psychiatry department. They looked at teenagers that were sent to a psychiatrist on advice of a general practitioner (118 on 195). At least one mental disorder was diagnosed for nine out of ten (88%) of them. For half of them (50%) two disorders were diagnosed and one quarter (24%) had three disorders, according to the article that was recently published in the «Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine». (jg/sda)

Erstellt: 18.05.2012, 18:15 Uhr

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