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Juvenile Justice - Girls

  • document cover for Making Detention Reform Work for Girls

    Making Detention Reform Work for Girls

    This practice guide will stress that efforts to safely reduce the inappropriate detention of low-risk girls must be rooted in JDAI’s [Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative’s eight] core strategies, but with an added intentional focus on applying those core strategies to girls’ unique needs and circumstances. These efforts require a strong and collaborative leadership team with the will and capacity to undertake meaningful reforms in the treatment of girls at the detention stage. The work must be rooted in careful analysis...

  • document cover for Trauma among Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

    Trauma among Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

    The impact of trauma on girls involved in the juvenile justice system is examined. Sections of this fact sheet cover: why there are increasing numbers of girls in the juvenile justice system; prevalence of trauma-exposure among justice-involved girls; prevalence of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) among justice-involved girls; potential consequences of trauma for girls; impact of the juvenile justice system on traumatized girls; and gender-responsive programming. This review suggests that trauma-informed and gender-responsive programming and intervention models are needed in order...

  • document cover for The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls' Story

    The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls' Story

    "This report exposes the ways in which we criminalize girls - especially girls of color - who have been sexually and physically abused, and it offers policy recommendations to dismantle the abuse to prison pipeline. It illustrates the pipeline with examples, including the detention of girls who are victims of sex trafficking, girls who run away or become truant because of abuse they experience, and girls who cross into juvenile justice from the child welfare system. By illuminating both the...

  • document cover for Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reform for Girls

    Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reform for Girls

    Juvenile justice systems reform is occurring across the country as a result of a growing understanding of developmental and neurological differences between youth and adults, the high cost of incarceration, and the consistent failure of a punitive juvenile justice model. However, even as systems are initiating reforms and changing their approach, they are routinely failing to modify those reforms for girls or even to collect data on how girls, specifically, are affected by the problems they are seeking to remedy...

  • Gender & Trauma: Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice: Implications for Policy and Practice (2017)

    Gender-specific somatic interventions can be transformative for system-involved girls who have experienced trauma. This report defines the core components of somatic interventions for traumatized girls, presents data documenting positive effects, and makes specific policy and practice recommendations to increase access for system-involved girls.

  • Safety at a Girls Secure Juvenile Justice Facility (2015)

    Serious juvenile delinquency is a significant and costly problem in the society. However, custodial environments often exacerbate current problems and promote recidivism. Girls’ delinquency, in particular, may call for trauma-informed approaches within organizations that serve the most serious offenders. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether implementation of a trauma-informed intervention that aims to change the therapeutic stand of the organization, the Sanctuary Model ®, corresponded with improved indicators of physical and psychological safety of staff and youth at a female secure juvenile justice facility … Findings suggest that the facility was a safer place for both residents...

  • Photo Essay: Life Inside a Juvenile Detention Center for Girls (2015)

    For the past eight years, photographer Richard Ross has been documenting juvenile detention centers across the country. He has visited more than 200 facilities in 34 states and been given rare access to interview and photograph more than 1,000 juveniles. These are a select few of his poignant photos.

  • Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood (2017)

    This groundbreaking study provides data for the first time revealing that adults surveyed view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than white girls of the same age, especially between 5-14 years old (p. 2).

  • Stopping School Pushout for: Girls Involved in the Juvenile Justice System (2017)

    This report highlights the data on girls in the juvenile justice system and the trauma that often leads them there, examines the effect the juvenile justice system has on girls and their access to education, and offers recommendations to avoid placing girls in the juvenile justice system and instead help them receive the educational and other services they need (p. 1).

  • Bringing Gender-Responsive Principles into Practice Evidence from the Evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls (2017)

    This brief describes the principles of gender-responsive programs, summarizes the literature, and presents highlights of MDRC’s implementation study of PACE Center for Girls. The PACE evaluation offers an important opportunity to describe how gender-responsive principles are put into operation in a real-world setting - across 14 locations in Florida - and to investigate the effects on girls’ lives (p. 12).

  • Helping Girls Get Back on Track: An Implementation Study of the PACE Center for Girls (2017)

    This report describes the implementation of PACE at the 14 centers that are participating in the evaluation. The research found that PACE successfully implemented its unique model as planned in multiple locations. Besides detailing the program’s dissemination of its gender-responsive culture and services, these findings provide useful information to social service providers who seek to replicate their own programs. In addition, the study has found that, after12 months, girls in PACE were more likely than girls in a control group to have received academic advising and mental health counseling and to have been enrolled in school (p. ix).

  • Mi Hermana's Keeper Toolkit: Promising Practices for Juvenile Justice Prevention Programs Supporting Latina Youth (2017)

    The toolkit provides effective culturally responsive practices for prevention programs supporting Latina youth who are at risk of placement in juvenile detention including recommendations, action steps for each recommendation, and targeted resources. Each recommendation and the corresponding action steps are included in a checklist that prevention programs can use to support direct practice, programming, and system changes (p. 4).

  • Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected (2015)

    For girls, as with boys, the failure to receive a high school diploma often places individuals on a pathway to low-wage work, unemployment, and incarceration. The imposition of harsh disciplinary policies in public schools is a well-known risk factor for stunted educational opportunities for Black and Latino boys. Such punishments also negatively affect their female counterparts, as do other conditions in zero-tolerance schools. Yet, the existing research, data, and public policy debates often fail to address the degree to which girls face risks that are both similar to and different from those faced by boys. This silence about at-risk girls...

  • Preventing Juvenile Justice Involvement for Young Women: An Introduction to an Evaluation of the PACE Center for Girls (2016)

    This brief describes an ongoing evaluation of PACE that will help policymakers and practitioners understand and strengthen the program’s effects for at-risk girls on a range of outcomes, including education, delinquency, risky behavior, social support, and mental health. More broadly, the study will inform the national dialogue about how to better serve such girls.

  • Breaking New Ground on the First Coast: Examining Girls' Pathways into the Juvenile Justice System (2015)

    The goal of this exploratory research was to hear from girls from the First Coast (Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker, and St. Johns counties) who are in juvenile residential commitment programs in Florida, to better understand their common pathways into the system, their experiences with services, and their recommendations for improving the response to girls.

  • Project Kealahou: Improving Hawai‘i's System of Care for At-Risk Girls and Young Women through Gender-Responsive, Trauma-Informed Care (2014)

    Project Kealahou (PK) is a six-year, federally-funded program aimed at improving services and outcomes for Hawai‘i's female youth who are at risk for running away, truancy, abuse, suicide, arrest and incarceration. PK builds upon two decades of sustained cross-agency efforts among the state's mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare systems to promote system-of-care (SOC) principles of community-based, individualized, culturally and linguistically competent, family driven, youth-guided, and evidence-based services. In addition, PK emphasizes trauma-informed and gender-responsive care in serving its target population of females ages 11-18 years who have experienced psychological trauma.

  • Stanislaus County Girls Juvenile Justice Initiative Evaluation Report (2014)

    Together, the Prison Law Office and Stanislaus County developed the Girls Juvenile Justice Initiative (GJJI) in order to address the county’s lack of gender-responsive resources for justice-involved girls.