Why do we think young women are committing more violent offences?

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Kim Pate
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
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Montreal, QC

Discusses the media hype over the supposed eruption of violence among young women, as well as the Young Offenders Act and how it is failing youth. Argues that young people are best served by supportive and proactive interventions, not by incarceration. Speaks of the importance of prevention and the need for empowering and supportive services for youth not only within the criminal justice system, but in the child welfare, educational, medical, and mental health systems as well, touching on the fact that this type of prevention is far more cost-effective than current criminal justice approaches. Also deals with the problems of abuse suffered in custody and the lack of adequate services for female offenders and young women in the justice system.