This article examines how adolescent offenders with mental disorders are treated by socio-educative internment treatment. These adolescents come under the aegis of medicine and justice in a contradictory relationship between full protection, vulnerability of a developing person with a mental disorder and a juvenile delinquency offense. In this respect, the legal punishment prevails to the detriment of health care. After approval of the research project by an Ethics Research Committee, field research was conducted in the Youth Detention Unit of the Pilot Plan of the Brazilian Federal District. Data were collected through research of documents involving 35 medical records of adolescent users of psychotropic drugs in 2010, as well as participant observation and semi-structured interviews with professionals from the Youth Detention Unit and adolescent judiciary. In the review of the care provided to adolescent offenders with mental disorders under the childhood and youth policy and the mental health policy, it was revealed that the mental health care provided in the Youth Detention Unit or in the external mental health care services involved the prescription of medication.
Childhood and adolescence; Mental health; Socio-educative measures; Juvenile delinquency offense