Without strong proof, policy advocates along with some scholars have causally linked declines in juvenile offending and incarceration with evidence-based and rehabilitation-oriented policy reform. Such studies have called for a shift back to rehabilitative ideals augmented by innovative strategies that emphasize cultures of care, and in the cases of system-involved girls, ‘gender-responsive’ programs, anchored in feminist literature. These programs have also caught the attention of feminist scholars who cast doubt on both their design and implementation. Gendered Injustice offers a unique contribution to the latter line of scholarship, and critically examines claims of innovation, empowerment, and gender-responsivity in youth correction that currently dominate the field.

Drawing on rich ethnographic data, this book uncovers the reality of, and gives voice to, the experiences and continued mistreatment of marginalized girls housed in locked institutions in the US State of California. By providing detailed insight into the detention experiences and the pathways of several young women, this book draws stark comparisons between the lived experience of young women in detention with the official rhetoric of empowerment that dominates public discourse. This book reveals the ways in which institutional policies and practices are designed to neglect and, in many instances, re-victimize inmates.

This is essential reading for those engaged in corrections, juvenile justice, gender and crime, and feminist criminology.

chapter Chapter 1|26 pages


Juvenile justice – promises made

chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

This study

part 43I|74 pages

Deprivation as intervention

chapter Chapter 3|24 pages

Disconnection as intervention

chapter Chapter 4|21 pages

Suppression as intervention

chapter Chapter 5|27 pages

Abuse as intervention

part II|79 pages

Programming as if girls do not matter

chapter Chapter 6|26 pages

We’re all hurting

Blame-therapy as intervention

chapter Chapter 7|33 pages

She tells us who we are

Empowerment, juvenile hall-style

chapter Chapter 8|18 pages


Promises broken