About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

20 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 215 (2012-2013)
Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons from the States

handle is hein.journals/geojpovlp20 and id is 231 raw text is: Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy
Volume XX, Number 2, Winter 2013
ARTICLES
Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls:
Lessons from the States
Liz Watson & Peter Edelman*
INTRODUCTION
Girls make up the fastest growing segment of the juvenile justice system.' As a
group, they are disproportionately high-need and low-risk, meaning that they
face a host of challenges and have a critical need for services, but, for the most
part, do not pose a significant threat to the public. The differences between the
profiles and service needs of girls and boys entering the juvenile justice system
present a significant challenge for the professionals who serve them. Many girls
in the system have experienced traumatic events-including sexual and physical
abuse and neglect-that have deeply wounded them emotionally and physically.
Overall, the juvenile justice system is ill-equipped to serve girls effectively,
having failed to implement the reforms called for by a growing body of research
on the needs of the girls in its care.2
Girls are still far outnumbered by boys in the juvenile justice system. For
example, in 2010, 337,450 girls in the United States were arrested and criminally
charged, as compared to 816,646 boys.3 Meanwhile, a snapshot taken in October
* Liz Watson is Senior Counsel at the National Women's Law Center and the former Executive
Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. Peter Edelman is a Professor
of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. We thank the Board of Advisors to the policy series
Marginalized Girls: Creating Pathways to Opportunity, as well as the participants in our September 2011
convening on girls in the juvenile justice system for sharing their insight. We thank Mary Bissell,
Rebecca Epstein, Michael Harris, Vanessa Patino Lydia, Lawanda Ravoira, Liz Ryan, Malika Saada Saar,
Kim Selvaggi Sokoloff, Jessi Leigh Swenson, K. Shakira Washington, and Lynn Wu for their significant
contributions to this paper. We are grateful to our research assistants, Lizzy Watson, Brian Gilmore, and
Stacie Reimer Smith for their valuable assistance. @ 2013, Liz Watson and Peter Edelman.
1. Am. BAR Ass'N & NAT'L BAR Ass'N, JUSTICE BY GENDER: THE LACK OF APPROPRIATE PREVENTION,
DIVERSION, AND TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR GIRLS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM 1 (2001), available at
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/criminal-justice section-newsletter/crimjust
juvjus justicebygenderweb.authcheckdam.pdf.
2. Id. at 22.
3. FED. BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEP'T OF JUSTICE, UNIFORM CRIME REPORT. CRIME IN THE
UNITED STATES, 2010 tbl.35 (2011), available at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/
2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl35.xls.

215

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most