9 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 31 (2002-2003)
Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

handle is hein.journals/wmjwl9 and id is 39 raw text is: GIRLS IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM
ROBERT E. SHEPHERD, JR.*
INTRODUCTION
Over the last few years, America has witnessed a rather
remarkable and unexpected reduction in crime generally, and an
even more significant dip in serious and violent crimes committed
by young offenders.' However, while these general and substantial
decreases were taking place across the board, the number of young
women arrested for delinquent offenses was increasing rather
dramatically. These increases have led to a great deal more
attention being paid to the involvement of girls in delinquency, and
in the development of gender-specific and effective programs for
those young women.2
General Statistics: Involvement of Girls in Delinquent Behavior
In the year 2000 girls constituted twenty-eight percent of all
juvenile arrests, as opposed to twenty-four percent just four years
earlier in 1993 and only twenty-one percent in 1983.8 More than
* Emeritus Professor of Law, T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond.
B.A., 1959, and LL.B., 1961, Washington and Lee University.
1. JEFFREY Burrs & JEREMY TRAVIS, THE URBAN INSTITUTE, THE RISE AND FALL OF
AMERICAN    YOUTH    VIOLENCE: 1980     TO  2000   4  (2002), available    at
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410437.pdf. The authors report that between 1994 and
2000 arrests of persons ages 18-24 for violent index offenses dropped by eighteen percent and
arrests for those over age 24 fell sixteen percent while arrests of persons under the age of 18
dropped by thirty-four percent. Similarly, arrests of juveniles for murder fell by sixty-eight
percent during the same period while arrests of those 18-24 and over 24 dropped by thirty-
nine and thirty-one percent respectively. The same document reported that juvenile arrests
overall declined by 13 percent over the same period. Id. at 9. See also Alfred Blumstein, Why
Is Crime Falling - Or Is It?, in PERSPECTIVES ON CRIME AND JUSTICE: 2000-2001 LECTURE
SERIES   1  (Nat'l Inst. of Just., U.S. Dep't of Just.), available         at
http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/187100.pdf; Howard N. Snyder, Juvenile Arrests 1999,
OJJDP JuV. JUST. BULL. (U.S. Dep't of Just., Off. Of Juv. Just. & Delinq. Prevention), Dec.
2000, at 3, available at http'J/www.ncjrs.org/pdffilesl/oijdp/185236.pdf.
2. See generally Meda Chesney-Lind, Are Girls Closing the Gender Gap in Violence?,
CRIM.    JUST.    MAG.,    Spring    2001,    at   18-19,    available    at
http'I/www.abanet.org/crimjust/chesneylind.html.
3. EILEEN POE-YAMAGATA & JEFFREY A. Burrs, FEMALE OFFENDERS IN THE JUVENILE
JUSTICE    SYSTEM: STATISTICS       SUMMARY      1  (1996), available      at
http'J/www.ncjrs.org/pdfiles/femof.pdf; Snyder, supra note 1, at 4; Melissa Sickmund, Profile
of Females in the Juvenile Justice System 2 (Paper presented at the American Society of
Criminology Conference, Nov. 7, 2001).

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