Source: (2010) Dissertation. Doctor of Philosophy. California Institute of Integral Studies.
The involvement of girls in juvenile justice has evolved into a significant
trend in recent years, and studies state that girls were confined for less serious
offenses than boys, and for longer periods of time. Correctional rehabilitation of
the female teen population is challenging. Both tough-love and restorative justice
models designed for adolescent males have proven less effective for females.
Gender-responsive programs are emerging in an attempt to address genderspecific
needs of at-risk girls. This qualitative study analyzes the stories of five
women who have successfully navigated the passage from juvenile detention to
contributory adult life.
Retrospective in its view, this narrative analysis extracts themes of
causation, detention, and reformation as told by its participants, who are identified
as “reformed” because they were detained as juveniles with no subsequent adult
detention. Emergent themes include: conditions and phases of delinquency,
challenges of the correctional period, difficulties of transition age, catalytic
moments of change, the power of community, and the difficulty of defining
The stories and themes build on previous research of juvenile
rehabilitation and contribute to the growing field of research in juvenile reform.
This analysis will be of interest to scholars and practitioners in the fields of
juvenile reform and corrections, adolescent developmental psychology, and
intervention and transformation studies.
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