Behaviors that guide girls into the correctional environment often pose little or no threat to public safety (e.g., running away). Deeply rooted gender injustice continues to remain persistent and drives girls deeper into the system. Despite continued discussion on improvement of societal gender norms, girls’ deviant behavior is often considered different from boys. In rural communities, girls’ deviance may be viewed as a threat to societal norms of femininity or a product of poor choices. For girls, these non-violent behaviors pave a way into the system and potentially a life behind bars. The current study serves as a contemporary comparison of qualitative responses outlining differences between perceived deviancy of girls and boys among a sample of community stakeholders in a Midwestern state. Results are consistent—girls continue to be held to different, lesser, standards of “appropriate” conduct than boys, creating a pathway into the juvenile correctional system.
Terry, April, "Girls and the juvenile justice system: Community stakeholders recognize gender non-conforming behavior as “criminal” for girls" (2020). 2020 SACAD Entrants. 80.