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NCJ Number: 198035 Find in a Library
Title: Criminalizing Abused Girls
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:8  Issue:12  Dated:December 2002  Pages:1474-1499
Author(s): Sarah Katz; Sandra Simkins
Editor(s): Claire M. Renzetti
Date Published: December 2002
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the need for the U.S. juvenile justice system to respond to the needs of severely abused girls who act out aggressively by addressing how the trauma they endured may be related to the crime that they are charged with.
Abstract: This article notes that the juvenile justice system routinely criminalizes girls who are victims of extreme abuse. The authors discuss the fact that these girls often act in ways that cause them to be arrested and state they believe there is a significant link between the girls actions and the abuse and neglect they have experienced. The authors suggest that courts focus on the girls' trauma and how it may be related to the crime, rather than on their aggressive actions. Because the juvenile justice system fails to gain an understanding of why these girls act the way they do, it fails to address these girls' needs adequately. The way in which the cycle of trauma, aggression, misdiagnosis, and inadequate treatment results in driving these girls deeper into the juvenile justice system. In conclusion, the authors recommend that more education is needed for all members of the juvenile justice system concerning the pathways to girls' delinquency, the likelihood of post traumatic stress disorder, and to determine the effectiveness of current treatment to prevent worsening the girls' experience while in the system. More coordination is recommended between systems with the reduction of helplessness and fear experienced by the girls' being seen as a primary goal to their rehabilitation by the juvenile justice system. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Child abuse as delinquency factor; Female victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Children at risk; Crimes against children; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Criminal justice system reform; Females; Institutional child abuse; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice system
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