Formal work on Juvenile Female Offenders: A Status of the States Report began in 1996 when staff at Community Research Associates (CRA) coordinated a meeting of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) staff and key consultants to conceptualize the contents of the report. Participants included Rebecca Maniglia, CRA; Gabriella Scott, State Representative from OJJDP; Linda Albrecht from New York; Ilene Bergsmann from Indiana; Kimberly Kempf-Leonard from Missouri; and Susan Greathouse from Colorado. The result of this initial planning meeting was a detailed outline containing primarily statistical data, by State, on both the offending patterns of young women and relevant demographic information. CRA staff and interns then gathered information by analyzing the juvenile crime data in all 1994 Three-Year State Plans and Updates, which are required by OJJDP for all States requesting Formula Grants funding. This information was then compiled and is reflected in the Individual State Approaches section of this report.
CRA staff and interns also analyzed all of the most recent KIDS COUNT national and State information. KIDS COUNT is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is designed to track the status of children in the United States. Although in most instances this information is not divided by gender, it still serves to give an overall demographic picture. Therefore, some of the information gathered from this source is reflected in the Individual State Approaches section of this report. CRA interns also compiled and confirmed information in the most recent American Correctional Association directory on residential programs that serve young women throughout the United States. This information is also reflected in the Individual State Approaches section.
Finally, CRA staff conducted a thorough literature review of studies and research into contemporary and historical offending patterns of juvenile female offenders. A review of the psychological literature on female development was also conducted.
As a result of these activities, it was discovered that very little offense or demographic information by State had been analyzed by gender. Furthermore, State approaches and methods of collecting this data have not been consistent. Therefore, in most States, it is difficult to obtain an accurate picture of female offending and demographic characteristics, and it is almost impossible to obtain consistent data that can be compared State to State. Because of these limitations in State data, the scope of the report was altered to provide a summary of the efforts conducted at Federal, State, and local levels to improve services for juvenile female offenders. Several specific State efforts are highlighted, and, when possible, statistical data are included in these descriptions. Narrative sections outlining Federal efforts in this area, providing a national overview of female offending and examining the key elements of gender-specific services, have also been included.
This report is organized into four major sections: "Juvenile Female Offenders and Gender-Specific Services: A Historical Overview," "Addressing Female Development in Treatment," "Individual State Approaches," and "Recommendations for Future Action."
The section "Recommendations for Future Action" presents lessons learned by the States and identifies key elements in State and local efforts to address gender bias and develop gender-specific programs for female offenders. The appendixes provide information on organizational resources and available State products, and there is a selected bibliography of the research literature.
The compilation of materials and overall direction of the study was coordinated by Rebecca Maniglia, a consultant for Community Research Associates. Ms. Maniglia also analyzed the compiled materials and prepared this report. Other individuals at CRA assisted with preparation and review of this material, including Lorna Ziller, Allison Kaye Temple, Lisa Wendt, Lisa Kelly-Wilson, and CRA interns Heidi Copps and Lisa Noble. Kimberly Budnick from OJJDP assisted Ms. Maniglia with the coordination of this effort. Elaine Dion's editorial expertise was also used.