Books Featuring and For Girls in Detention

We stumbled upon a good blog post by Mindy Hardwick about books featuring youth in detention.  She focuses particularly on a book called After by Amy Efaw which she recommends to young women in detention.



Please Complete the JTDC Volunteer & Background Check Application

Thanks to everyone who attended the program facilitator information session today.  For those of you who are planning to join Girl Talk as program facilitators, as you know, you will have to undergo a background check in order to work inside the facility.

Attached is a PDF of the application which includes the BACKGROUND CHECK REQUEST FORMS.   Click HERE to download that information.  Please mail the entire completed packet to us by Friday November 19th.

Mail to:


1530 W. Morse Ave

Chicago, IL 60626

The deadline for getting this application back to us is FRIDAY NOVEMBER 19th.  It takes several weeks to go through the process of having a background check done through the County.

John Howard Association Reports on their Visit to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

Cook County Juvenile Detention Center: Heading in the right direction, but still a long road ahead

On October 26, 2010, John Howard Association staff and volunteers conducted a monitoring visit of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (CCJTDC). JHA met with CCJTDC’s top administrators and visited the school, mental health unit, and living areas.

Generally JHA’s visit revealed progress in the overhaul of CCJTDC; however, there is much work to do. The population of the facility is still inappropriately high in both John Howard Association’s and CCJTDC’s administration’s opinion. The volunteer programs at the facility also lack coordination, a problem the new deputy director will be tasked with solving; there is still a lack of a “continuum of care,” meaning links to the community for youth when released; finally, some staff remain untrained and under-qualified for the positions they hold.

Click here for the full report.

NCCD Will Establish A National Girls’ Insitute

OJJDP Awards NCCD’s Center for Girls and Young Women $1.5 Million to Establish a National Girls Institute

November 8, 2010

A National Girls Institute to provide evidence-based, gender-specific information, training, and technical assistance is being established at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency with a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nationally, girls are the fastest-growing segment of the juvenile justice population. States and local jurisdictions, long invested in responding to the needs of boys, lack the tools and knowledge to deal with this influx. Current programs for justice-involved youth are ill equipped to effectively address the unique needs of girls. Professionals are frequently frustrated with the lack of information, available services, and training in best practices. “Girls continue to be inappropriately placed in facilities and programs designed for boys,” said Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, Director of the NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women.

The juvenile justice system’s current failure to effectively address girls’ needs has created a major public health and social welfare concern with severe short- and long-term consequences. Most justice-involved girls do not pose a public safety risk; yet girls are too frequently arrested and incarcerated. This practice has led to a fast-growing number of girls in the system, most of whom would be better served by community-based programs and appropriate treatment options. “The National Girls Institute represents a real opportunity to bring critical change to the frequently misguided way we treat and address the needs of girls in this country. Girls deserve effective treatment, and when supervision is truly warranted, it should be appropriate,” said Alexander Busansky, NCCD President.

The situation is compounded by the fact that girls also present with high rates of abuse, victimization, and serious mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and prior attempts at self-harm and suicide. Ineffective interventions also result in a host of problems as girls become adults, including poor physical and mental health, substance dependence, and 2 future arrests and incarceration. Justice-involved girls are also at a higher risk as adults of becoming involved in violent domestic relationships, of dysfunctional parenting, and of losing custody of their children.

Despite research and evidence documenting gender differences in offending and pathways to delinquency, girls have historically been a low priority. For many years, NCCD has worked to draw needed attention to the plight of girls in the justice system. Most recently, in 2009, Dr. Ravoira called on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security to address the crisis and overhaul current policies and practices.

To respond to these urgent needs, OJJDP’s grant will provide for national training and technical assistance for promising practices in girls’ delinquency prevention, intervention, and treatment. The National Girls Institute will be headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, but will serve the needs of girls across the entire country. “We will research, pilot, and implement services designed to meet the specific needs of girls,” Dr. Ravoira said. “We look forward to working with and drawing on the knowledge and experience of the many professionals across the country who have devoted their careers to helping girls.”

A grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to NCCD launched NCCD’s Center for Girls and Young Women in 2008. “We are delighted with their early success,” noted Sherry Magill, president of the duPont Fund. “We knew when we invested in the Center that its work would protect girls and young women and create smart public policies.”