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Georgetown University Law Center. Center on Poverty and Inequality (Washington, DC)

"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 problem and potential solutions, we hope to make the first step toward ending the cycle of victimization-to-imprisonment for marginalized girls" (p. 5). This report is comprised of two primary sections. Girls' Paths of Sexual Abuse into the Juvenile Justice System: the proportion of girls, especially girls of color, in the juvenile justice system in increasing; girls in the juvenile justice system are disproportionately victims of sexual violence; girls’ behavioral reaction to sexual abuse and trauma is criminalized, reinforcing the sexual abuse to prison pipeline; the juvenile justice system typically fails to address, and often exacerbates, trauma that caused girls to be there; lived experience of the sexual abuse to prison pipeline--victims of sex trafficking jailed as offenders; lived experience of the sexual abuse to prison pipeline-- detention of girls who are status offenders; and in focus--dual-system youth and the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. Child Welfare and the Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline Identifying and Treating Trauma in the Child Welfare System.

The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls' Story Cover

This “event focused on the importance and implementation of trauma-informed approaches to girls in the system, while providing an opportunity to learn about programs that have proven effective across the country. Mr. Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reaffirmed his office’s commitment to developing more information and tools about girls in the justice system in order to better meet their unique needs. The event featured Dr. Stephanie Covington, Co-Director at the Center for Gender and Justice, and her work on trauma-informed approaches to girls. As a nationally recognized clinician, Dr. Covington articulated the need for more gender-responsive and trauma-informed treatment services for women and girls in the public, private, and institutional settings.” The agenda included: Keynote Address: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Girls: What It Is and Why It’s Needed” by Dr. Covington; Discussion of Keynote—The Importance of a Trauma-Informed Approach to Girls; Panel 1—Implementation of Trauma-Informed Approaches in Public Systems; and Panel 2—Exposure to Violence and Trauma at Home and in the Neighborhood. The second link takes you to the slides for Dr. Covington’s presentation.

Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice for Disconnected Girls Cover
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