Home > Publications > Adultification: Girls and the Juvenile Justice System

Today, nearly 30 percent of juveniles arrested are girls or young women and their share of arrests, detainment, and court cases has steadily increased over the past two decades. Unfortunately their stories remain unchanged. Often girls of color and girls living in poverty, they are victims of violence, including physical and sexual abuse. They are typically nonviolent and pose little or no risk to public safety. And their involvement with the juvenile justice system usually does more harm than good.

When girls are limited in their access to education and treatment, or when their numbers increase in the juvenile justice system relative to boys, particularly for assaultive behavior, status offenses, and technical violations of probation, we are often not supporting them or providing them with the tools they need to become successful adults. We’re not offering them opportunities to learn how to become healthy, safe, and productive.

Find out more about the issues concerning girls and the juvenile justice system and what your state, tribe, or local community, in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), can do to improve our responses to girls and young women in—or at risk of entering—the system.

-excerpt from Girls in the Juvenile Justice System