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In the News: History of Abuse Seen in Many Girls in Juvenile System
NIC News & Updates


This recent article published in the New York Times summarizes a report on girls in the juvenile justice system with a history of sexual and physical abuse. The study, “The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story,” found that “sexual abuse was among the primary predictors of girls’ involvement with juvenile justice systems, but that the systems were ill-equipped to identify or treat the problem.”

New York TimesFrom the article:

  • As many as 80 percent of the girls in some states’ juvenile justice systems have a history of sexual or physical abuse.
  • The report’s authors say that girls involved in criminal behavior receive far less public attention than boys because there are far fewer girls in juvenile detention centers and because crimes committed by girls do not usually involve violence.
  • Laws in many states allow the police to arrest girls as young as 13 on prostitution charges, even when they are victims of sex trafficking. The report says the policy of incarcerating girls at young ages for prostitution, as well as on suspicion of truancy and running away, leads to profound mistrust of the criminal justice system and, often, more arrests.
  • Among the report’s recommendations are to expand mental health and trauma services for girls in the juvenile system and to prohibit the arrest and prosecution of girls younger than 18 on prostitution charges.

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 Mon, Jul 13 2015 11:29 AM by Susan Powell


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