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NCJ Number: 209146 Find in a Library
Title: School to Prison Pipeline for Girls: The Role of Physical and Sexual Abuse
Journal: Children's Legal Rights Journal  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2004  Pages:56-72
Author(s): Sandra B. Simkins; Amy E. Hirsch; Erin McNamara Horvat; Marjorie B. Moss
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effects of abuse, school failure, and drug abuse on girls in terms of their transition from school to the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.
Abstract: Previous research on the “school to prison pipeline” has focused mainly on boys, thus there is little research on how to interrupt this pipeline from school to prison for at-risk girls. The current study sought to probe the connections between abuse suffered by girls and women and their experiences with education, drugs, and involvement with the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Participants were 35 girls incarcerated in the juvenile justice system and 26 adult women with criminal histories and drug dependencies. Results of semi-structured interviews revealed that childhood physical and sexual abuse in the lives of girls and women led to incarceration for these females. Abuse affected their ability to function in school and caused behavior which resulted in their incarceration. Moreover, the participants repeatedly remarked about their inability to receive academic and therapeutic help, indicating a failure of both their communities and their schools. Some of the girls complained of trouble even getting to school and many lived in states of constant transition from incarceration, to foster care, to other living arrangements that severely interrupted their schooling. Drug use was often initiated as an escape mechanism. Policy recommendations are offered and include the need to change the culture of schools to be more welcoming and supportive and the need to provide adequate training to teachers and school administrators on the signs of abuse. Future research should continue to probe the connections between abuse, school difficulties, and incarceration for girls. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Female offenders; Female victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Drug abuse; Female inmates; School influences on crime
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