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New in the Library - Trauma among Girls in the Juvenile Justice System
NIC News & Updates


From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Juvenile Justice Consortium, this 2014 report examines the effect of trauma on girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Trauma among Girls in the Juvenile Justice System discusses why there are increasing numbers of girls in the juvenile justice system and documents the prevalence and potential consequences of trauma for girls.

Highlights from the report:

  • Girls now account for approximately 30 percent of the estimated 2.11 million juvenile arrests made each year, and on any given day more than 7,800 girls reside in detention or juvenile corrections facilities in the US (Puzzanchera & Adams, 2011).
  • Careful analyses of data on girls’ arrests suggest that the recent increase is not a function of “girls gone wild” but rather results from changes in mandatory sentencing and law enforcement policies: termed “net-widening” or “up-criming”.
  • A widely replicated finding is that youth in the juvenile justice system have been exposed to significantly higher rates of traumatic events than community youth (Wood et al., 2002), with rates of trauma exposure generally ranging from to 70 to 96 percent (Abram et al., 2002; see Kerig & Becker, 2012). 
  • Studies of community samples indicate that PTSD is 3 times more prevalent among girls than boys (e.g., 7.3% versus 2.2%; McLaughlin et al., 2013).
  • Evidence confirming the effectiveness of gender-responsive programming for detained girls has recently emerged (Day, Zahn, & Tichavsky, 2014); however support for gender-responsive community programs for justice-involved girls is so far limited and mixed (Bell et al., 2012; Zahn et al., 2009).

Read the full article


This announcement is available at NIC's Gender-Responsive News for Women and Girls.  Feel free to forward to friends and colleagues.  Subscribe to the newsletter at

For additional resources on Justice-Involved Women go to NIC’s Women Offenders.

Posted Tue, May 12 2015 7:16 AM by Susan Powell


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