Girls in juvenile justice: Treating the victim as a criminal

Article here. Excerpt:

'Too often, girls end up in Maryland's juvenile justice system not because they are a danger to society but because society is a danger to them. The are far more likely to have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse than boys who are committed to juvenile facilities, yet they tend to receive harsher punishments for lesser offenses — and get fewer chances for rehabilitation and education. When they act out in anger, fear or frustration at circumstances they did not create and cannot control, they are too often treated as criminals, not victims, a self-fulfilling prophecy that puts them at even greater risk.
...
This is not just a Maryland problem, and it is not new. Girls have been treated unequally in the juvenile justice system for generations, whether because of sexist notions about appropriate behavior or the greater attention that has been focused on rehabilitation for boys. The result too often has been to criminalize victimhood, to punish those who have already suffered the most. It cannot continue.'

up
39 users have voted.
I like this

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

How to stay out of jail

Don't break the law.

Plenty of ppl of both sexes had rough childhoods and/or were abused. The bulk of them don't act out by committing crimes.

This article is an exercise in misandry and nymphotropism, nothing more.

up
12 users have voted.
I like this

Two explanations

I'm always suspicious of claims that girls are treated worse than boys, because they usually turn out to be the result of cherry-picked data and the inherent blindness of reporters who have an axe to grind. Boys are typically treated worse than girls. Any exception to that rule needs an explanation.

There seem to be two explanations for the apparent disparate treatment of girls.

First, the population of girls is much smaller, so they receive less funding. As the article says, it makes no economic sense to spend a lot of money on a small population.

The second can be found in a quote from a linked article:

"But he’s also concerned about too many girls being committed in an attempt to protect them. Abed and public defenders said judges fear that if they release juvenile girls, they’ll be vulnerable to sex trafficking, prostitution and other dangers."

That makes sense: judges are trying to protect girls from "sex trafficking, prostitution, and other dangers." In other words, the system already views girls more as "victims" than "criminals"--which is why girls are often committed for lesser offenses than boys and why girls are given longer sentences. The judges are trying to protect them.

Perhaps there are better ways to protect girls, but these girls also committed a crime to get there. Do we just let those slide? Or do we hold these girls accountable for their behavior?

Any perceived unfair treatment of girls is a big deal. If boys are treated unfairly, well, who cares?

up
10 users have voted.
I like this