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Beyond Gender Barriers: Programming Specifically for Girls

NCJ Number
Marcia Morgan; Sheila Peters Ph.D.
Date Published
November 2000
298 pages
This is a two-part training curriculum that will be used by a cadre of trainers in order to raise awareness of the need for gender-specific programming for girls in the juvenile justice system and to improve correctional services for young females.
Curriculum I is a 1-day training program that focuses on building support at the State and local levels for designing, managing, and funding programs for young females. The target audience for this curriculum is decisionmakers, primarily program and agency administrators as well as experienced, upper level staff. The general topics addressed in the nine-module curriculum are how male and female juvenile offenders differ; social and personal costs of ignoring girls’ needs; how gender-specific programming can best meet the developmental needs of girls; elements of effective, comprehensive program designs; and managing gender-specific programs. Also covered are the development of gender-specific policies and the development of partnerships with funding sources, legislators, and other agencies. Curriculum II is a 2-day, eight-module program that focuses on developing the specific skills staff members need to work effectively with girls on a daily basis. The target audience for the curriculum is staff who work directly with young delinquents or at-risk girls. The eight modules range in presentation time from 35 minutes to 2 hours each. The topics covered include common characteristics of female offenders; protective factors and resiliency; the unique developmental needs of girls; social context and socialization, including family, friends, culture, school, and media; staff boundaries; communication issues; using a holistic approach; and relationship-based, strengths-based, and health-based programming for girls. Curriculum handouts, overheads, and a reference list are provided.