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Girls Are In Trouble. Do We Care? The Number of Delinquent Girls Is on the Rise; Only a Coordinated, Multiagency Approach Can Turn the Tide

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 60 Issue: 7 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 136-141
S J Johnson
Date Published
6 pages
This article suggests ways to deal with the growing numbers of young females involved in the juvenile justice system.
While the number of arrests of male juveniles for violent crimes remained steady between 1992 and 1996, the number of female juveniles arrested for the same offenses increased 25 percent; male juvenile arrests for property crimes decreased by 4 percent but female juvenile arrests for the same arrests increased by 21 percent. In 1996, 723,000 female juveniles were arrested nationwide. Girls in the juvenile justice system reported violence in their environment; direct, personal experience with violence; witnessing stressful life events at very young ages; delinquent peers and gang membership; substance use in the home setting; and isolation from, or lack of connection to, activities and organizations that promote growth, leadership and linkages to the larger community. To help girls avoid or cope with such events and to deter them from delinquency, society must put in place collaborative, cooperative, information-sharing, client-centered and action-centered approaches that include health exams and treatment, education and training, substance abuse programs, pregnancy care programs, domestic violence programs, life skills training and programs for parents of girls. References