Wednesday, November 30, 2011

interventions for children who have committed crimes to focus on children, and must change, says Marlene Fermin

following the riots in England in August, a few girls have been brought before the court. They have been grouped by the media, predictably described by their clothes and hair. But the main thing they have in common is that they mutinied and they are girls. Why and how involved in the disorders vary according to their circumstances.

Unfortunately, violence affects the lives of some girls and young women in their homes, their schools, their relationships, peer groups and in the streets. Some girls have to navigate every day of violent landscapes. Depending on their background and contact with those who can help and self-esteem and resistance, violence can affect some choices for girls and prospects.

Over the last five years, I worked with and interviewed hundreds of young women trapped in violent and unstable environments. Some have argued firearms on behalf of children, others have attacked children. Some say they are aggressive so that young people see them as sexual objects to be abused and attacked, others because they want to make money. But how many of these motivations are reflected in our response to violence?

interventions for children who have committed crimes to focus on where the children participate in, or give up offending. The Youth Justice Board reported earlier this year in 2009/10, men were responsible for 78% of total recorded crime committed by juveniles. In the middle of the comments that girls are more violent, the juvenile justice system was never designed to address the crimes committed by young women. Assessment instruments used to predict the risk of interventions to reduce vulnerability, the girls were after the fact. If you really want to prevent crime and recidivism has to change.

While girls' participation in violence is documented, we still have to do a review like this should happen at the political level. Speculation about the impact on children of being raised by single mothers were abundant, for example, but what is the impact on girls? Do we know how many girls are in single parent families because of domestic violence? And even if we can answer these questions, we still need to know the impact of such circumstances, girls who commit acts of violence, and the majority do not. We can not give meaning to the participation of young women in violence until it can collect these separate issues.

We're starting to see progress. Last month, the parliamentary all-party women in the criminal justice system announced an independent inquiry into the girls in the justice system. Such research, for the first time, shed light on the experiences of young women in a system designed for young people, and that in the case of a justice system for girls. The research comes at a year when the government launched its action plan to eradicate violence against women and girls, and approved a plan to combat the sexual exploitation of children.


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