Source: (2009) Women and Criminal Justice. 19(1):80-93.

This article argues the case of restorative justice for its effective use among female delinquents and its ability to reduce the increased imprisonment rates of women in the United States.Some critics have cited that restorative justice is "soft on crime." However, restorative justice can help to alleviate the problems of girls in the juvenile justice system because it takes gender-specific programming one step further. The framing of restorative practices needs to account for the fact that female offenders are usually victims first. Differential standards of women and men and understanding of women�s criminal behavior have been well documented in the literature. These differential expectations, and the subsequent understanding and treatment of female offenders, need to be understood and fully considered in a restorative justice framework. By having repairing harm as its focus and individualization as its basis, and by providing offender-specific programming, restorative justice is what is needed to (1) do something about the number of girls who are behind bars and (2) heal their wounds so that they can go on to lead productive, healthy lives. This article makes the case that restorative justice can be used as gender-specific programming for female delinquents. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.gov).