A Female-Based Continuum of Care Model
Taking into consideration all the issues addressed above, it is the development of a complete continuum of care for young women involved in the juvenile justice system that is the most effective way of meeting their individual service delivery needs and of eliminating gender bias from within the system. When the entire range of services is available for young women and when each individual program is developed with the young women's critical needs in mind, the system is more likely to be able to provide appropriate and effective placements, no matter what a young woman's level of involvement.
The following continuum model, adapted from one developed in 1993 by the Florida Female Initiative, a statewide group addressing the needs of juvenile female offenders, is put forth as an example. Although such a continuum must contain the following programmatic stages, it is possible, of course, for stages to be combined into one type of justice program. For instance, an effective probation program may address some of the early intervention and diversion issues, and some of the juvenile justice interventions.
In its ideal model, this continuum functions as a circle rather than as a linear process, allowing young women reentering the community from the last intervention to access services near the beginning of the continuum in order to effectively reintegrate into society.
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