Maheen Kaleem

When We Fail To Ask Why: Sexually Abused Girls Funneled into Juvenile Justice System

In the past two decades, the proportion of detained girls has increased at a rate four times as fast as the number of detained boys. And racial and ethnic disparities among justice-involved girls remain stark: Girls of color are detained, committed and sent to residential placements at rates significantly higher than their Caucasian counterparts.

The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story

Report: Girls Face ‘Sex-Abuse-To-Prison Pipeline’

The numbers are huge: An Oregon study found that 93 percent of girls in the state’s juvenile justice system had been sexually or physically abused at some time. South Carolina research found that 81 percent of girls in its system had experienced sexual abuse.

Women’s Center Works to Lower Recidivism Rates With ‘Immersion in Sisterhood’

“I just figured since I was under 18 and I could do whatever and just end up in juvenile hall, I didn’t care,” Danielle Robinson said. “There were times I felt like I was going to change but that’s only because I was locked up. Once I got back on the street, I acted the same.”

But when she turned 18, things changed for Robinson — she served her last sentence in juvenile hall and had a daughter one year later.

Jeannette Pai-Espinosa and Jessie Domingo Salu

OP-ED: First Problem Is Seeing Abused Girls As ‘Bad Girls’

In our society, there is a deep underlying presence of age-old social gender role expectations. Girls should be “sugar and spice and everything nice.” The consequence for not meeting those gender role expectations is to be labeled for life “a bad girl” and have your trauma criminalized.

OP-ED: How Chicago Youth Diversion Fails Justice-Involved Girls

This problem is about much more than gender exclusivity in juvenile justice diversion programs. It is about the overall societal devaluation of the lives of girls, which is reflected in this country’s juvenile justice policies. And frankly, this is an act of violence.

PACE Embracing the Needs of Girls, Looks to Expand Beyond Florida

A Florida program created in 1985 for girls who had a brush with the law has now developed into a highly successful intervention program.

PACE Center for Girls was called “the most effective program in the nation for keeping adolescent girls out of the juvenile justice system” by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its 2008 Kids Count report.

Sexual Trauma Marks Girls’ Path to Juvenile Justice System

When Crystal Contreras was seven and living in Los Angeles, her mother put her in the care of someone Contreras saw as a father figure. Instead, he pressured the little girl for sex. For the next three years, until she was 10, the man raped her regularly, often creeping into the house at night without her mother’s knowledge. “I never said nothing to my mom,” Contreras told JJIE.org during an interview in July. “I was scared he would kill her or hurt her or hurt the animals that I had.