Understanding the Needs of Female Juvenile Offenders: An Evaluation of the G.I.R.L.S. (Gaining Insight Into Relationships for Lifelong Success) Project

Georgia Calhoun, University of Georgia

The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the G.I.R.L.S. (Gaining Insight into Relationships for Lifelong Success) Project. The gender specific treatment intervention program utilizes a relational group intervention model for females adjudicated delinquent in Georgia's Clarke County Juvenile Court. Research suggests a relational model is necessary to understand female development and as such may be helpful in conceptualizing the issues pertaining to adolescent female offenders. Such conceptualizations are particularly salient for females in the juvenile justice system, whose first offenses typically include running away, truancy, and substance abuse. These types of delinquent activities often stem from difficulty with familial, school, and peer relationships. Evaluation of this project to determine its relevance and efficaciousness examines girls in relation to l. self, 2. family, 3. peers, and 4. school. Preliminary results indicate support for continued intervention utilizing the relational model.

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Updated 05/20/2006