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Emerging Issues Policy Series

  • Girls, Status Offenses and the Need for a Less Punitive and More Empowering Approach

    “’Why are girls so much more likely than boys to be petitioned and incarcerated for a status offense?’ This brief explores the complex answer to this question, and previews steps that can be taken to unravel, understand, and better address the complex needs of girls who engage in status offense behaviors” (p. 1). This is an excellent resource for people who work with girls who are status offenders. Sections of this publication cover: the prevalence of status offenses for girls; how different expectations of girls lead to a double standard; the need for gender-responsive services; defiance or self-defense; girls, structural racism, and implicit bias; the pathways girls take into the juvenile justice system are different from boys-they need different interventions not the same ones for boys painted pink; judicial leadership in Nevada; moving toward a less punitive and more empowering approach; and implications for further juvenile justice reform.