ADHD and Canadian youth: an evaluation of the neurocognitive disorder’s impact on criminal justice assessment, management, and policy

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(Thesis) M.A.
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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed disorder among Canadian youth today. The disorder is particularly visible in young offenders, highlighting the overrepresentation of this disorder in this population. Troublingly, the screening process for ADHD is virtually non-existent within our criminal justice system. In light of these circumstances, is the youth criminal justice system in Canada doing enough to provide care for young offenders who have ADHD? This research presents the findings of an exploratory analysis which included a Canadian youth court case analysis and 14 personal interviews. Results reveal that in order to adequately follow the guidelines of the Youth Criminal Justice Act a new approach to youth with mental health issues is necessary. This research proposes that a potential new approach should be based on a provincial model of funding, consisting of increased education and communication for professionals working in the youth criminal justice system.
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