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NCJ Number: 191167 Find in a Library
Title: Female Offenders and Disabilities
Journal: Women, Girls & Criminal Justice  Volume:2  Issue:5  Dated:August/September 2001  Pages:68,75,76
Author(s): Lili Garfinkel
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 3
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assesses the relationship between the presence of disabilities, as well as other risk factors in the lives of female offenders.
Abstract: Historically, the juvenile system focused primarily on males because they were the largest population. Now that there has been an increase in the number of girls within the juvenile system, certain issues need to be addressed such as coping with the presence of disabilities in female offenders. The range of disabilities can involve one or more of the following: emotional, behavioral, and developmental, as well as cognitive. According to the author, the following steps should be taken to improve practice and policy concerning girls with disabilities who are involved in the juvenile system. There needs to be a change in the overall philosophy about the differences between women and men. Early intervention, identification of risk factors, and comprehensive evaluations for disabilities should play significant roles. If a disability is apparent then a referral to special education services would be necessary. Correctional programs need to be more sensitive to abuse and disabilities. Programs created need to focus on promoting individual strengths and developing problem solving skills, as well as social relationships and employment skills. The staff of these programs should serve as positive role models. Also, programs for girls should be comprehensive and include access to therapy, medication, crisis interventions, and individual supports. Parents should also be made aware of disabilities and special education services. Advocates, judges, attorneys, educators, probation staff, and correctional officers need to be educated about disabilities and their effects on young girls. Community based services for non-violent female offenders need to be developed as well. More research focused on disabilities and their effects on girls within the juvenile system is necessary.
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Adolescent females; Gender issues; Juvenile counseling; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile offenders; Juveniles right to treatment; Learning disabilities; Young juvenile offenders
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