U.S. News | Young Women of Color

Report: Female youth in U.S. juvenile justice system likely to have faced abuse prior to detention
  • According to a recently released report, some states see as many as 80% of the girls in their juvenile justice systems having been victims of sexual or other physical abuse.
  • In particular, the report found girls arrested on prostitution charges were likely to have been victims of sex trafficking, leading to distrust of law enforcement and further victimization.
  • African-American, Latina, and Native American girls were found to be disproportionately involved in the system, which has seen an increase in arrests even as crime rates have flattened.

“When law enforcement views girls as perpetrators, and when their cases are not dismissed or diverted but sent deeper into the justice system, the cost is twofold: Girls’ abusers are shielded from accountability, and the trauma that is the underlying cause of the behavior is not addressed.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.