Girls make up only a small fraction of the incarcerated juvenile population, but girls often land in detention because they have experienced some form of trauma: abusive families, bad experiences in the foster care system, and especially sexual abuse. Policy experts even use the term "sexual abuse to prison pipeline," and they say it’s why incarcerating a young girl perpetuates more negative behavior and makes it harder to exit the system.
Desiree is a young woman who has bounced between foster care, detention centers, and residential treatment centers since she was 10. Even though she has been the repeated victim of abuse, she says she's been made to feel like she's the problem...and she's angry about it. But she has her own ideas about how to make things better and she’s making her voice heard.
Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.