One Girl, Many Systems: A Collaborative to Improve the Road Ahead for Marginalized Girls

Location: Washington State

PROJECT SUMMARY: Washington state has the highest rate in the nation of locking up girls for noncriminal activities such as running away, skipping school, or violating curfew or rules of probation. Many traditional tools of juvenile justice systems fall short of supporting healthy environments for girls or their social welfare because many girls have histories of trauma, violence, economic vulnerability, and a lack of social supports. This research proposes to use a mixed-methods approach to better understand the needs and experiences of girls at risk for deeper justice system involvement. This study will focus on girls who are 11–18 years old, live in two to four diverse communities, and have received a court referral for a status offense but no criminal charges. The following questions will be answered through this research project: (1) What do girls in the community impacted by the justice system need? (2) What research-based priorities does the community want to improve for girls? (3) What is the impact of the intervention(s) on the girls from the community and state? By learning about the lived experiences of system-involved girls and co-constructing recommendations, key stakeholders will work together to increase coordination of services and change policies and practices.

One Girl, Many Systems: A Collaborative to Improve the Road Ahead for Marginalized Girls

[Pictured from Left to Right]

  • Ann Muno, MSW, Executive Director, Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington State
  • Sarah Veele, MPH, PhD, Research and Policy Senior Manager, Rehabilitation Administration, Washington Department of Social and Health Services
  • Arina Gertseva, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts

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