Girls Will Be Girls

Aimee Lemery is making great strides at school, something she never cared about one year ago when she was hanging with the wrong crowd and ditching classes.

"Before I came to Pace, I would have dropped out of school. I would have regretted that."

Unfortunately, too many girls in Florida aren't following the same path as Aimee. Statistics show the juvenile arrest rate for girls is on the rise.

Shay Bilchik of the Child Welfare League of America says, "Females make up 60 percent of all arrests for running away, 67 percent arrests for prostitution, and 39 percent for larceny and theft.”

These staggering statistics are the reason behind a new report about girls in the juvenile justice system. The report demonstrates the need for more gender responsive services.

"The report shows the criminal history of girls and demonstrates why more care is needed for the girls."

Advocates say providing intervention and treatment services will prevent the criminalization of girls, girls like Aimee who may have otherwise followed a destructive path.

"Since I got here, I set goals. Before, I’d settle for something small. I want to make something great for myself."

It's a goal her teachers say is highly attainable.


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