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Voice and Visibility for Disconnected Girls

Posted in 2013, Uncategorised Monday, 18 November 2013

On November 15th, The National Crittenton Foundation, Georgetown Law Center on Poverty, Inequality & Public Policy, and Human Rights Project for Girls hosted a Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice for Disconnected Girls forum at Georgetown University Law Center. This event launched a new policy series entitled Voices and Visibility for Disconnected Girls: Responding to Trauma. The goal of this new series is to explore the importance of trauma-informed approaches to girls in school, the juvenile justice system, and child welfare system.

The event focused on the importance and implementation of trauma-informed approaches to girls in the system, while providing an opportunity to learn about programs that have proven effective across the country. Mr. Robert Listenbee, Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reaffirmed his office’s commitment to developing more information and tools about girls in the justice system in order to better meet their unique needs. The event featured Dr. Stephanie Covington, Co-Director at the Center for Gender and Justice, and her work on trauma-informed approaches to girls. As a nationally recognized clinician, Dr. Covington articulated the need for more gender-responsive and trauma-informed treatment services for women and girls in the public, private, and institutional settings.

During YJAM’s Girls Justice Day, we shared that girls are an invisible part of the juvenile justice system but sadly their numbers have increased steadily over the past several decades, rising from 17 percent in 1980 to 29 percent in 2011. Most of these girls, up to 73 percent, have histories of physical and sexual violence, which precedes their entry into the criminal and juvenile justice system. We are thrilled to be partners with the sponsoring organizations and look forward to working with each in the future to address the needs of girls in the criminal justice system.