OJJDP Policy Guidance: Girls and the Juvenile Justice System

This resource from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides information on the issues concerning girls and the juvenile justice system and what states, tribes, or local communities can do to improve responses to girls and young women in—or at risk of entering—the system.

Many girls experience violence, trauma, poverty, and racial, ethnic and gender bias that can lead to their involvement in the juvenile justice system. OJJDP believes that the needs of girls must be addressed in a developmentally appropriate manner, which means recognizing a young woman’s diverse pathways into and across systems and reducing her involvement so that only those who pose a serious threat to public safety enter the juvenile justice system. Then, for those very few girls and young women, it means reducing reliance on secure placement and increasing gender and culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and developmentally appropriate approaches.