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Female juveniles in detention often dealing with personal issues

According to a study, young girls in San Diego juvenile facilities are far more likely to abuse drugs than are boys.  These girls were also more likely to have used alcohol at a younger age and to have tried various harder drugs such as methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and spice.

 According to the director of criminal-justice research for the San Diego Association of Governments, the results of this study demonstrate why intervention for juveniles has to be appropriate per gender.  The study results may suggest other factors that need to be taken into consideration as well.

Young girls that have found themselves in trouble with the law appear to more likely have come from dysfunctional families than did boys. The families of these girls were significantly more likely to have had some involvement with Child Protective Services than had the families of boys. The girls were also much more likely to have run away from home at some point than boys as well.

What this seems to point out is that young girls charged with juvenile crimes often are dealing with substance abuse, family problems or other emotional trauma. It's likely what they need is counseling and stability in their lives rather than confinement to a government-run facility.

Attorneys accustomed to representing youth will often have access to the type of resources that can help these young people out. If we can deal with the problem in a timely manner there is a much better chance that we will not continue to see these young individuals back in the juvenile court system.

Source: Fox 5 San Diego, "Report: Girls abuse drugs in juvenile hall more than boys," July 31, 2013

Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results