Since the early 1980s, California's prison system has witnessed a boom. Of this growth, females represent the fastest growing population in both the adult and juvenile systems, often with youth feeding into the adult system. Although girls are the fastest-growing population in the juvenile justice system, there is a blatant lack of gender-specific programs to match this growth. Researchers have documented the unique needs of girls and young women and made a strong case for such programs, but there continues to be a void in research on what factors are critical to the effectiveness of a gender-specific program for incarcerated girls and young women. Another body of research has made a strong case for focus on aftercare, defined as a continuum of programs and services critical to successful transition out of the criminal justice system. Identification of the critical success factors for gender-specific aftercare requires research into the work of organizations that provide successful models of gender-specific aftercare. This paper examines the practices of one such organization, 'The Center' for Young Women's Development. Furthermore, this paper 1) explores how the organization can serve as a model of effective gender-specific aftercare and 2) evaluates the impact of its program, Sisters Rising, on program participants. Ultimately, this paper finds that 'The Center' for Young Women's Development holds valuable lessons for effective public policy, program design and implementation in regards to gender-specific aftercare.
Lee, Vivian Y., "A model of aftercare for female juveniles" (2005). Capstone Collection. 232.