Across the country, juvenile justice reform efforts have driven down juvenile custody populations, putting the end of incarceration for girls in the United States within reach. The number of girls in most jurisdictions is small and most girls are still incarcerated for low-level offenses that pose no risk to public safety. Placing girls in custody for low level offenses both goes against research on effective juvenile justice practice and disproportionately harms girls of color and LGB/TGNC or “gender expansive” youth.

Vera is partnering with leaders in jurisdictions across the country to end girls’ incarceration nationally. Through the initiative—which originally began with the New York City Task Force on Ending Girls’ Incarceration—Vera partners with local leaders to examine gender inequities in their systems and develop comprehensive plans to disrupt the unique pathways to incarceration for girls and gender expansive youth. We bring together government leaders, advocacy groups, and young people to design strategies that work locally. 

Project Objectives

  • Vera promotes gender and race equity through systems change for girls and gender expansive youth across the country. 

  • Vera builds powerful partnerships between government and community, including girls and their families.

  • Through the New York City Task Force on Ending Girls Incarceration, Vera is developing a comprehensive plan to end confinement for girls across the five boroughs. 

Key Fact

Girls are often incarcerated for circumstances related to abuse: over 80% of girls in the juvenile justice system have been sexually or physically abused.