Keeping Girls Out of the Justice System


Girls are making up a larger share of the juvenile justice system than ever before. One program that’s trying to address this issue is the PACE Center for Girls in Florida.

The PACE program is unique — a juvenile justice prevention program that recognizes that the path to justice involvement for girls differs greatly from boys and provides treatment and services with the needs of girls in mind. With locations throughout the state, PACE is probably the largest and most well-established gender responsive prevention program of its kind. MDRC is conducting an ongoing evaluation to understand the effect PACE can have on at-risk girls and their education, delinquency, risky behavior, and mental health, among other things.

Join Therese Leung as she talks with three guests about the PACE program and the MDRC study:

  • Charlotte Bright, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and an expert on gender and juvenile justice
  • Aggie Pappas, Executive Director of the PACE Center for Girls in Broward County, Florida
  • Megan Millenky, Research Associate at MDRC

The PACE evaluation is funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); the Jessie Ball duPont Fund; and the Healy Foundation. The Social Innovation Fund combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States.

Stay tuned for a brief that describes the challenges of keeping girls out of the juvenile justice system and the design of the PACE study.

About MDRC’s “Evidence First” Podcast Series

Policymakers talk about solutions, but which ones really work? Join Therese Leung as she talks with MDRC researchers about the best evidence available on education and social programs that serve low-income people.

Therese Leung is the Associate Director of External Affairs where she helps lead MDRC’s outreach to Congress, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and think tanks. Therese used to work as an advisor to the Committee on Education and Labor in the House of Representatives and at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC.