The majority of girls in the juvenile justice system are alleged to have committed status offenses or misdemeanors, or for a probation violation. For instance, 75% of the runaways are girls. Advocates argue that the behaviors that draw these girls into the system are related to child development and should be considered in the context of J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 131 S.Ct. 2394 (2011). The child’s maturity, mental health, and developmental issues should be evaluated when considering both whether an adjudication is proper and what disposition should follow. Advocates also argue that behavioral interventions in the community would have a greater impact than detention or incarceration in curbing future delinquent behavior by girls.
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