This study aims at establishing a comparative psychological profile of male and female adolescents at the moment of the application of measures in juvenile centers in Québec (centres jeunesse du Québec, CJQ) as well as their family and social characteristics. The study compares 213 adolescents (12-17 years old) receiving services in CJQ in accordance with the juvenile offenders act (Loi sur les jeunes contrevenants), with 213 adolescents from high schools of impoverished neighbourhoods. Results reveal serious problems of adaptation, external disorders and interiorized disorders and a regular substance abuse among many juvenile offenders. These problems are much more frequent in CJQ than within the juvenile population. The situation of these adolescents is worrisome, given that a high prevalence of depression and sexual victimisation is also observed in females. Finally, families whose adolescent receives services in CJQ have less financial, personal and social resources, as well as more difficulty exercising their parental role compared to parents in the general population. In conclusion, recommendations are proposed concerning psychosocial services necessary for these adolescents and their families.