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Risks, Outcomes, and Evidence-Based Interventions for Girls in the US Juvenile Justice System


Risks, Outcomes, and Evidence-Based Interventions for Girls in the USJuvenile JusticeSystem


Risks, Outcomes, and Evidence-Based Interventions for Girls in the USJuvenile JusticeSystem


“Risks, Outcomes, and Evidence-Based Interventions for Girls in theUS Juvenile Justice System” is an article which was written byLeve, Chamberlain, and Kim. It posits that the number of girls whoare involved in juvenile cases has been increasing in the UnitedStates despite the fact that very few evidence-based models whichhave been tested include female victims. According to the authors,most researchers have been ignoring girls with the assumption thatboys comprise the larger portion of the juvenile population in thecountry. Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) point out thatresearchers and scholars have found out enough information about therisks and the protective issues associated with girls with delinquentbehavior. However, the gap that exists in the research impedesdevelopment and implementation of strategies that would help girls.In the article, they seek to prove the point that very little hasbeen done by researchers about risks and protective aspects forfemale juvenile detainees as compared to their male counterparts.


Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) employ different methods to provethe thesis and to find the right recommendations for the problem. Theprimary task is to critically analyze different findings that havebeen presented regarding the issue of girls` involvement indelinquency. The article evaluates empirical work about theestablished predictors and protective factors that have beendeveloped as a result of juvenile justice in girls` cases. Second,they analyze empirical and evidence-based juvenile justiceinterventions that have involved youths and girls in particular. Someof these interventions which the article evaluated includeMultisystemic Therapy, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care, andFunctional family therapy among others.

It is also important to note that the authors reviewed differentresearch articles to prove that most samples in these studies orsurveys are only boys. Since the idea is to demonstrate thatresearchers have been overlooking girls in their studies, Leve,Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) try to provide some empiricallyresearched articles and journals that only targeted boys whileconduction their studies. They have also tried to make their researchappear different from other previous studies by taking a differentapproach. First, several articles and websites are reviewed. Theresearch is very specific since these authors focus only on girls whohave had contacts with the juvenile system. Therefore, articles andbooks which present the findings of very general research areavoided. Moreover, the research focuses on interventions which haveevidence to prove that juvenile justice was involved andrandomized-controlled trials were used.

The methodology employed by the authors is not very efficient since alot of factors are ignored. The fact that they ignore girls who havenot been involved with the juvenile justice directly means they arealso ignoring those who have worked with the juvenile justice systemand family members of those who have been involved. It would havebeen better to use other methods of obtaining data such asinterviews. Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) only revieweddifferent kinds of literature and websites that could provide theright information about interventions that are based on evidence.However, these sources provided enough information to support thethesis.

Evidencein Support of the Thesis

Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) provide enough evidence to provethat most of the studies which have been conducted majorly focused onboys while overlooking girls with delinquent behaviors. The articleby Wong et al. (2013) have been reviewed by the authors to getinformation regarding risk and protective factors for girls. Theauthors prove that the chances of girls being involved in delinquentbehavior are very high despite the fact that most of the scholarshave been concentrating on boys. The sources used were very diverseand many and this ensured that their findings were credible. It was,therefore, easy to find any kind relevant information to support thethesis.

The high number ofsources also allowed them to study and explain factors thatcontribute to delinquency in girls and boys. Furthermore, the articleexplains why girls who have some experience with sexual abuse aremore likely to get tangled in criminal activities or delinquentbehavior as they grow up (Moore et al. 2013). It is also important tounderline the fact that websites whose links are provided by theseauthors provide more evidence to prove that girls getting involvedwith the juvenile justice system have been increasing over the pastcouple of years.

Apart from providing adequate and relevant information to prove thatthe portion of girls who have been adjudicated or approached by thejuvenile justice is very high, the authors also sought to prove thatvery little have been done about it. It is for this particular reasonthat Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) reviewed several sourceswhich provide evidence concerning the genders of the youths who wereinvolved in the juvenile system. Succinctly, the evidence is verystrong, and this allows the authors to achieve their goal andobjective by the end of the review.

Contributionto Literature

The juvenile justice system and delinquency have been a subject ofinterest for many years. As such, several studies have been carriedout to examine the issues of the administration of juvenile justicein the US. It is, therefore, fitting to conclude that Leve,Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) were not the first nor the lastresearchers whose work focused on the subject matter. However, it isimportant to acknowledge that the study was unique as these authorswanted it to be. The research contributed to literature and studiesthat had been conducted earlier by different authors and scholars. Itis also crucial to note, parenthetically, that different scholarshave recently based their research on the findings of the study todevelop the knowledge further. Here are some of the sources which areclosely related to Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015).

The article by Cohn (2016) is one that provides more informationabout the issue of girls with juvenile justice cases. According tothe author, the number of girls with delinquent behavior who havebeen adjudicated and handled by the Juvenile justice system has beenincreasing in the past few years. However, the research articlecovers a wide array of topics related to juvenile delinquency. Thesource would be very relevant to a scholar using the work of Leve,Chamberlain and Kim. Cohn (2016) supports the claim that very fewresearchers have been considering girls when testing juveniledelinquency. This is because most of them more often sample boys atthe expense of girls. Even though Leve, Chamberlain and Kim did notreview articles which did not conduct their studies based on thesampling of girls who had been in the hands of juvenile justiceofficials, the article by Cohn proves that researchers could havestill achieved their primary goal.

In another article, Willis (2016) posits that juvenile prosecutorshave been working hard to find ways through which they may reduce theprevalence of cases of children with disabilities who are in theircustody. According to the article, there is enough evidence to showthat some children suffer mentally as a result of the abuses they hadexperienced in their childhood. As such, it is fitting to concludethat his work support the view of Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015)which state that girls who had been sexually abused at a younger agehave a higher chance of getting involved in delinquent behaviors.

According to Rowe et al. (2013), the number of girls in the custodyof the juvenile justice authorities has been increasing significantlyover the past several years. The main reason behind this is that mostof the strategies which have been implemented were targeting boys.The assumption that boys are more likely to be delinquent as comparedto the girls is one of the factors that have contributed to theproblem. The article supports the claims that most of the researchersand strategists have been focusing on boys.

Risk and protective factors can be vital in minimizing the negativeoutcome of interventions by juvenile prosecutors or authorities. Itis important for the society to learn that there is a highprobability of girls committing crimes at early ages just like it isin the case for boys. As such, it would be important not to overlookgirls. The information that is provided by the article by Rhoades etal. (2014) supports the claims of Leve, Chamberlain and Kim.

In her argument, shenotes that girls do not use mental health, educational facilities,and social service systems more often like boys who have beenreported to be suffering from cases of chronic delinquency. As such,Leve, Chamberlain &amp Kim (2015) should have taken the informationinto consideration to avoid assuming that juvenile justice systemdoes not intervene.


The article is relevant and very authoritative because the authorswere able to achieve their goal by proving and defending the thesis.The methodology involved the reviews of several scholarly articles,books, and websites belonging to various organizations which havebeen fighting for girls rights within the system. However, it wouldbe wrong to say that it is perfect and nothing can be done to improveits quality. They should have used more than just one method ofobtaining qualitative data. Surveys and interviews should have beenconducted to get first-hand information from those who have haddirect experience or interacted with girls who at one point were inthe custody of juvenile prosecutors. It would also be important tointerview some of the researchers so that they explain why theyoverlooked girls while sampling and testing juvenile delinquencyamong the youths in the country. This noted, it is fair to state thatthe article has a lot of relevance in today’s society andespecially as the world moves from the mentality of incarceration andadopt a more progressive policy which seeks to reform and give asecond chance to juvenile offenders. The implementation of therecommendations made will go far in ensuring a better society wherechildhood mistakes do not have an everlasting impact on the life ofthe said minors. Thus, it is upon relevant authorities to take uprecommendations from the article and initiate the process ofimproving the current system.


Cohn, A. W. (2016). Juvenile Focus. Federal Probation, 80(1),64-70

Leve, L. D., Chamberlain, P., &amp Reid, J. B. (2005). Interventionoutcomes for girls referred from juvenile justice: effects ondelinquency. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology,73(6), 1181.

Leve, L., Chamberlain, P., &amp Kim, H. (2015). Risks, Outcomes, andEvidence-Based Interventions for Girls in the US Juvenile JusticeSystem. Clinical Child &amp Family Psychology Review, 18(3),

Moore, E., Gaskin, C., &amp Indig, D. (2013). Childhood maltreatmentand post-traumatic stress disorder among incarcerated youngoffenders. Child Abuse and Neglect, 37, 861–870.

Rhoades, K. A., Leve, L. D., Harold, G. T., Kim, H., &ampChamberlain, P. (2014). Drug use trajectories after a randomizedcontrolled trial of MTFC: Associations with partner drug use. Journalof Research on Adolescence, 24, 40–54.

Rowe, C., Rigter, H., Henderson, C., Gantner, A., Mos, K., Nielsen,P., &amp Phan, O. (2013). Implementation fidelity ofMultidimensional Family Therapy in an international trial. Journal ofSubstance Abuse Treatment, 44(4), 391–399.

Willis, M. (2016). Utilizing Prosecutorial Discretion to Reduce theNumber of Juveniles with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System.BYU Educ. &amp LJ, 191.

Wong, T. M. L., Loeber, R., Slotboom, A., Bijleveld, C. C. J. H.,Hipwell, A. E., Stepp, S. D., &amp Koot, H. M. (2013). Sex and agedifferences in the risk threshold for delinquency. Journal ofAbnormal Child Psychology, 41, 641–652