University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Youths with disabling conditions are grossly overrepresented among those detained and confined in juvenile correction systems. Some of the behavior of youths with disabling conditions can be misinterpreted as dangerousness and/or as posing a risk of flight prior to a dispositional hearing. The cognitive and language abilities of some youths may contribute to their poor presentation to juvenile court intake workers and others within the juvenile justice system. This Article briefly profiles four youths with disabling conditions detained at the District of Columbia's Oak Hill Juvenile Detention Center, and discusses how behavior associated with disabling conditions (i.e., learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, and mental retardation) may be associated with the unnecessary detention of youths.

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