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NCJ Number: 189423 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Painful Secrets: Helping Traumatized Girls in Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System
Journal: Pennsylvania Progress  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:Spring 2001  Pages:1-8
Author(s): Patrick Griffin
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1167
US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 98-J-05-8576
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: News/Media
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes a 2-year effort to develop and field test a flexible but effective treatment response to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in delinquent female adolescents and to provide education regarding PTSD and its effects to virtually everyone in Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system whose responsibilities bring them into contact with girls.
Abstract: PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that sometimes stems from a life-threatening event. It is essentially a long-lasting response to the event. According to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 7.8 percent of Americans, including 10.4 percent of women, will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. There is reason to believe that the disorder is much more common among girls who become involved with the juvenile justice system. In Pennsylvania, among the first 461 female detention center residents assessed as part of a mental health screening pilot project, approximately half reported having suffered traumatic experiences. An important part of Pennsylvania's response to the influx of traumatized girls into the juvenile system is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Project. Launched in the year 2000, the project involves a massive statewide PTSD education and training program for juvenile justice professionals. In addition to introducing trainees to what is known about PTSD, its causes and effects, the cluster of symptoms associated with it, and the ways people have learned to control the symptoms, the curriculum guides trainees through the process of helping adolescent girls confront their traumas and their feelings about them. This process includes many hands-on activities, including role-playing exercises, art projects, games, ceremonies, and other techniques that supplement and stimulate spoken communication. Assessing the treatment curriculum's impact on program participants, as well as field testing it in other settings will be part of the work of the project's second year. 4 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile rehabilitation
Index Term(s): Diagnostic and reception processing; Female juvenile delinquents; Pennsylvania; Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
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