Tenuous borders: Girls transferred to adult court

Emily Gaarder, Joanne Belknap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

There are tremendous gaps in our theories and knowledge about girls who have committed crimes deemed so serious as to justify adult sentencing. This study is guided by a feminist approach to "give voice" to 22 girls incarcerated in a women's prison in the Midwest. Through in-depth interviews, the girls describe their lives before prison and their perceptions of being tried and convicted as adults. Consistent with other research on female offenders, these girls reported lives fraught with violence and victimization, sexism, racism, and economic marginalization. This study calls for a more careful and complex look at issues of victimization, agency, and responsibility among female offenders, particularly those proclaimed "adults" by the legal system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-517
Number of pages37
JournalCriminology
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2002

Keywords

  • Court waivers
  • Delinquent girls
  • Feminist theory
  • Life course
  • Pathways

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