The State of "Gender-Relevant" Progamming in Indiana

Crystal Garcia, Indiana University Purdue University
Mary Ziemba-Davis, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute
Nicole Kincaid, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute

Over the last fifteen years, academics and justice system experts have come to realize that much of the programming provided to females in the justice system does little to address their specific developmental, social, and psychological needs. Moreover, the vast array of prevention and correctional programs currently available were developed specifically for young males. With this in mind OJJDP encourages states to survey the gender-specific programming they provide and develop plans to address any gaps in services that might exist. Indiana responded by developing a multi-dimensional research plan, including a review of the criminological and psychological literature about the distinct experiences of adolescent girls and boys; an analysis of state and national data to identify gender differences in delinquency and factors predisposing youth to delinquency; focus groups investigating the unique needs and experiences of at-risk and delinquent girls from the perspectives of the girls themselves and the professionals that work with them; and a statewide survey assessing the gender-specific needs of youth from the perspective of youth service and justice professionals. Findings from this project will uncover the "state" of gender-relevant programming in Indiana and facilitate the development of thoughtful, gender-relevant programs that can be widely implemented and systematically assessed.

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Updated 05/20/2006