Source: (2009) International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. 32:288–293.

As a result of the Youth Criminal Justice Act's increased focus on restorative justice, treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration of youth, many more juvenile offenders require mental health services while resident in youth detention facilities [Youth Criminal Justice Act (2002, c.1). Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/Y-1.5]. Several common characteristics such as violence, aggression, and other antisocial behaviors, associated with criminal behavior, have been identified among male and female offenders. Dialectical behavior therapy, originally developed by Linehan [Linehan, M. M., 1993a. Cognitive–behavioural treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guildford Press] for chronically parasuicidal women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, has been successfully modified for use with other populations, including violent and impulse-oriented male and female adolescents residing in correctional facilities. The intent of this article is to encourage the wider use of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) with young offenders. It includes an extensive review of the evidence-base to date and describes some of the creative modifications that have been made to standard DBT program format to meet the particular needs of various groups in both Canada and the United States. In keeping with the movement toward more evidence-based practice, the authors argue that DBT is a promising approach in group work with incarcerated adolescents and should be more widely used. (author's abstract)