Specific strategies have been recommended by previous studies with the previously-mentioned program principles in mind. Patino proposed a set of essential services that must be present in gender-specific programs for juvenile delinquent girls: • Specialized mental health and substance abuse treatment needs (Patino, 2006) o Gender-sensitive counseling and therapy must be provided to address the gender dimension of female youth offense. o Staff involved in these services must undergo specialized training that will help them handle the various problems that girls in the juvenile justice system bring to the table.
o Intensive mental health services must be instituted. • Comprehensive, family-focused services (Patino, 2006) o Family and community-centered projects for reintegration and aftercare must be in place to prevent repeat offense. • Medical care and specialized programming for pregnant and parenting girls (Patino, 2006) o Health services must be provided to address the number of girls who enter the system who are pregnant or single mothers. Provision of the consultation services of a gynecologist, prenatal clinics, post-partum counseling and sexual health education must be a component.
• Traditional and Non-Traditional Educational and Vocational Programming (Patino, 2006) o Provision of vocational and lifeskills training and must be a component of the program to address the social inadequacy felt by girls because of poverty and poor academic performance Also, in a study by Peters, key elements in a gender-specific program were also highlighted, taking into consideration the specific needs and risk factors that young girls have: • A cohesive, cooperative and team-oriented management team that will provide the girls with a model for change and development that emphasizes trust, respect and communication.
• Program staff that is representative of the clients or girls they are handling. All women staff from different ethnic and social background will provide the girls with a chance to identify with one or several of the staff and develop positive and nurturing relationships. • Training for staff that aims to equip them with knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand, help and nurture adolescent girls with various backgrounds. These trainings should highlight the resiliency of girls despite numerous risks, adolescent female development, cultural and gender sensitivity.
• Treatment of girls as unique individuals with inherent strengths and value during the intake process. The assessment instruments should be able to reflect and bring to the surface the various risk and resiliency factors that the girls have experienced. Conclusion Major issues and concerns faced by female juvenile delinquents have been documented and researched by numerous studies from the academe, government agencies and non-government groups and agencies. It was shown that adolescent girls have special needs to be able to development fully and functionally and reduce the risk of committing a crime.