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NCJ Number: 204361 Find in a Library
Title: Little Women: Girls in Adult Prison
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:15  Issue:2  Dated:2004  Pages:51-80
Author(s): Emily Gaarder; Joanne Belknap
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 30
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the experiences of convicted girls serving time in adult women’s prisons.
Abstract: Although the trend of waiving youth to adult criminal courts is well-established, scant research has examined how youth experience life inside adult correctional institutions following a conviction in adult court. As such, this study used intensive interviews with 22 girls aged 16 to 19 who were serving time in a large women’s prison in the Midwest to discover how they managed their lives inside the adult institution. Interviews were also conducted with four staff members working in the women’s prison at the time of the research. Interviews with the girls focused on childhood experiences, histories of criminal activity, encounters with legal and social service agencies, and experiences in prison. The analysis demonstrated the complexity involved in the girls everyday lives within the women’s prison. Among other challenges were the problems of gaining access to adequate schooling, work-related education and skill-building, counseling, and health care. The girls relationships with the adult women prisoners was also examined and it was found that because of the possibility of older women prisoners abusing, harassing, or manipulating the younger inmates, separate housing for the under-aged girls was strongly indicated. Additionally, programming was found to be inadequate for juvenile girls and, with few exceptions, the adult prison staff expressed reluctance at working with the juvenile population assigned to their prison. These findings underscore the need to consider the appropriateness of placing girls in adult institutions where services are inadequate to address their specific needs. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juveniles in adult facilities
Index Term(s): Correctional education programs; Female juvenile delinquents; Women's correctional institutions
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