Latina and African-American Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: Needs, Problems, and Solutions

Vera Lopez, Lidia Nuño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This review focuses on Latina and African-American girls in the juvenile justice system with a special emphasis on their mental health, substance abuse, and treatment needs. Like many young women in the juvenile justice system, Latina and African-American girls often have histories of neglect, abuse, and trauma, which contribute to later mental health and substance abuse issues. Despite these histories, juvenile justice professionals sometimes rely on stereotypes rooted in cultural deficit thinking to explain Latina and African-American girls' delinquency. Relying on gendered, racialized, and classed stereotypes and assumptions can result in decisions that negatively impact Latina and African-American girls' access to mental health, substance abuse, and other types of treatment. Policy and practice implications for better addressing the needs of Latina and African-American girls are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-37
Number of pages14
JournalSociology Compass
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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