Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


This article provides an overview of the role gender plays in juvenile justice processing. It reviews national data on girls’ arrest patterns and links those patterns to girls’ underlying needs and trauma histories. The article then focuses on the increase in arrests of girls for domestic assaults and describes the experience of Washoe County, Nevada, where girls were detained disproportionately for domestic battery as a result of a mandatory detention law. The article goes on to describe Nevada’s successful effort to amend that law to increase discretion and mandate family services and the resulting improvements in services to girls experiencing family-based violence.