JJDPA Matters

05
Nov

Healing From Trauma: Girls in Juvenile Justice

By Jessie Domingo Salu, Vice President, The National Crittenton Foundation

Imagine being a child abused or neglected by someone you know, feeling unsafe in your own home, being betrayed by people who you should be able to trust. Where would you go? How would you cope with such traumatic experiences? For girls involved in the juvenile justice system, their options are very limited, and none of them would be seen as good choices from a middle class perspective. Girls typically turn their rage inward — they run away from home, are truant from schools, become defiant, or engage in self-harming behaviors. As a result, girls disproportionately end up in the juvenile justice system for status offenses—actions that would not be considered criminal if committed by adults—rather than for violent or person-to-person crimes.

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20
Oct

Actions Matter: How We Can Show our Girls We Care

By Maheen Kaleem, Equal Justice Works Fellow, Human Rights Project for Girls

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15
Oct

Unequal Progress: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Systems

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Justice showed that the rate of youth in confinement dropped 41% between 2001 and 2011. Cause to celebrate during Youth Justice Awareness Month (YJAM)? Yes and no. Despite the remarkable decrease in the use of confinement for youth, The National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) reports that the proportion of youth of color receiving court dispositions grew substantially between 2002 and 2012. NCCD completed a statistical analysis of county-level data from five counties across the country that have worked on system reform. Through its analysis, NCCD found that youth of color represented 66.8% of sentenced youth in 2002 yet this percentage rose to an alarming 80.4% in 2012.

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02
Oct

The Party’s Over. It’s Time to Act!

By Marcy Mistrett, CEO, Campaign for Youth Justice

Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA)—the nation’s main law governing state juvenile justice programs. All September long, youth, families, leaders, and advocates from across the country celebrated four decades of fewer youth in adult jails, fewer children who have committed no crime being locked up, and increased attention being paid to racial and ethnic disparities in our state systems.

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