Adolescents in the juvenile justice system are underserved and understudied even though they are disproportionately affected by myriad health risks and comorbidities.1 Less well understood is whether duration of incarceration is associated with poorer long-term health outcomes and whether risk behaviors persist into adulthood. This issue of Pediatrics provides 2 studies addressing these questions.

Barnert et al2 analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and observed that incarceration duration in adolescence and early adulthood is independently predictive of poorer physical and mental health in adulthood. Relative to adolescents without an incarceration history, incarceration duration of <1 month predicted adult depressive symptoms, incarceration duration of 1 to 12 months predicted worse adult general health, and duration of incarceration of >1 year predicted adult functional limitations, adult depressive symptoms, and adult suicidality. In a related study, Abrams et al3 examined changes in adolescents’ HIV...

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