Skip to Content

Committee Statements

Platts Statement: Hearing on “Meeting the Challenges Faced by Girls in the Juvenile Justice System”

Good morning. I would like to welcome you all to our hearing today.

As we explore our existing juvenile justice system, it is ever important that we also examine the unique experiences faced by girls who enter the system. Today we will hear from a well-regarded group of witnesses who will be able to provide insight to the challenges and characteristics of female offenders.

Although recent studies have provided us with more information regarding the involvement of females in the juvenile justice system, there is still much we have yet to learn. According to the Girls Study Group—a group of scholars and practitioners convened by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency—by 2004, girls accounted for 30 percent of all juvenile justice arrests. Despite the fact that this figure is higher than previous decades, the group found that girls have not necessarily become more violent, but that changes in the enforcement of domestic dispute laws and zero-tolerance school policies may attribute to an increasing percentage of female delinquency rates.

As we deal with the changing environment of the juvenile justice system, we must ensure that these girls are treated in a way that is safe and constructive to their rehabilitation. As such, it is critically important that we meet today to hear from individuals who have front-line experience. I want to especially note the attendance of Cameron Romer, an Intensive Aftercare Officer, from York County, Pennsylvania in my home district. I am particularly grateful for Ms. Romer sharing her knowledge of working with females who require intensive supervision and treatment.

I look forward to hearing the testimony of all of our witnesses today, and I am confident that we will be able to address the unique needs of girls in our juvenile justice system. Thank you, Chairwoman McCarthy.


# # #

Stay Connected