Juvenile Justice

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Juvenile Justice

Serving troubled & at-risk girls.

According to the Youth First Initiative, despite accounting for just 15 percent of all incarcerated youth, girls make up roughly 38 percent of youth incarcerated for “status offenses,” and the majority of youth incarcerated for running away.

Juvenile Justice System

The juvenile justice system can be confusing for anyone. Some terminology is different in the juvenile justice system than it is in the adult courts. This guide will give you definitions of terms that you may hear if you are involved with the juvenile justice system.

In several U.S. states, judges can use valid court orders to lock up juvenile offenders for something called “status offenses,” violations only deemed criminal because the offender is a minor. These include running away, skipping school and underage drinking. This legal loophole disproportionately affects girls and, in particular, girls of color.

Girls who offend tend to have a history of trauma, which can be a reason for committing status offenses. For example, many girls who run away from home have troubled home lives, are in foster care or are subject to sex trafficking once they’re on the streets. For those girls, getting detained through this legal loophole often means subjection to more trauma.

As of 2020, Black girls are the fastest-growing segment of, and are overrepresented in, the juvenile justice system, according to a report released by the Center for Court Innovation. Racial disparities throughout the system are also evident in how Black girls account for a disproportionate share of female status offender cases, according to a Office of Juvenile Justice and Office of Delinquency Prevention 2019 report. And a 2020 study in the Children and Youth Services Review found that roughly one in three African-American girls in detention at the time of the study were there for status offenses. 

Overall, the number of girls in U.S. detention centers has risen by 49 percent, according to a report by the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice; but systems are ill-equipped to address their needs.

Know Your Child’s Rights

Nevada Juvenile Justice Bill of Rights

NRS 62B.510 Rights of child placed in detention facility. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 62B.520, a
child who is placed in the care and custody of a detention facility within this State has the right:
1. To receive information concerning his or her rights set forth in this title.
2. To be treated with basic human dignity and respect, without intentional infliction of humiliation.
3. To have fair and equal access to services, placement, care, treatment and benefits.
4. To a program of education that meets the requirements of law and is appropriate for the developmental
maturity of the child.
5. To receive adequate, healthy and appropriate food.
6. To receive adequate, appropriate and accessible basic necessities, including, without limitation, shelter,
clean clothing and personal hygiene products and facilities.
7. To have access to necessary medical and behavioral health care services, including, without limitation:
(a) Dental, vision and mental health services;
(b) Medical and psychological screening, assessment and testing; and
(c) Referral to and receipt of medical, emotional, psychological or psychiatric evaluation and treatment as soon
as practicable after the need for such services has been identified.
8. To be free from:
(a) Abuse or neglect, as defined in NRS 432B.020.
(b) Corporal punishment, as defined in NRS 388.478, except the reasonable use of force that is necessary to
preserve the order, security or safety of the child, the public, the staff of the detention facility or other children who
are detained in the detention facility.
(c) The administration of psychotropic medication unless the administration is consistent with the policies
established pursuant to NRS 62B.530.
(d) Discrimination or harassment on the basis of his or her actual or perceived race, ethnicity, ancestry,
national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability
or exposure to any communicable disease.
(e) The deprivation of food, sleep, exercise, education, pillows, blankets or personal hygiene products as a form
of punishment or discipline.
(f) Being searched for the purpose of harassment or as a form of punishment or discipline.
(g) Being restricted from a daily shower, clean clothing, drinking water, a toilet or reading materials relating to
the education or detention of the child as a form of punishment or discipline.
9. To have reasonable access and accommodations to participate in religious services of his or her choice
when reasonably available on the premises of the detention facility or to refuse to participate in religious services.
10. To communicate with other persons, including, without limitation, the right:
(a) To have regular contact through visits, telephone calls and mail with:
(1) Biological children;
(2) Parents;
(3) Guardians;
(4) Attorneys; and
(5) Other adults with whom the child has established a familial or mentoring relationship, including,
without limitation, clergy, caseworkers, teachers, mentors and other persons, upon approval of the detention
(b) To communicate confidentially with:
(1) Any agency which provides child welfare services to the child concerning his or her care;
(2) Attorneys, legal services organizations and their employees and staff;
(3) Ombudspersons and other advocates;
(4) Members of the clergy; and
(5) Holders of public office, and people who work at a state or federal court.
ute, a communication made pursuant to this paragraph is not a
privileged communication.
(c) To report any alleged violation of his or her rights pursuant to NRS 62B.525 without being threatened or
11. To participate, in person, by telephone or by videoconference, in all court hearings pertaining to the
circumstances which led to the detention of the child.
(Added to NRS by 2017, 744)
NRS 62B.520 Reasonable restrictions on exercise of rights by child. A detention facility may impose
reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner in which a child may exercise his or her rights set forth in
NRS 62B.510 if such restrictions are necessary to preserve the order, security or safety of the child, the public, the
staff of the detention facility or other children who are detained in the detention facility.
(Added to NRS by 2017, 746)

If you have an emergency situation, please call 911. If there is any information that is not listed or you need help with resources, please call or email us as gethelp@allgirlz.org or (725) 696-7230. We will put you in touch with the right people to help you and your daughter.

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