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High Risk: Girls at the Deep End


In June 2022, Chief Justice Susan Christensen’s Juvenile Justice Task Force (JJTF) requested a review by the Iowa Task Force for Young Women (ITFYW) of the recommendations from the original "Serious, Violent and Chronic Juvenile Female Offenders: Service and System Recommendations for Iowa" report in order to reflect any knowledge gained or relevant system change since its publication in 2017.  

The following publication includes that updated information:  

The Iowa Girls Justice Initiative (IGJI) developed an innovative, viable, and effective plan for services to young women involved at the deepest levels in the juvenile justice system. In doing so, this group explored the potential use of innovative, female-responsive approaches at earlier stages of juvenile justice system involvement.  Through these efforts, members developed the final report containing system and services recommendations for girls in the juvenile justice system.

The Iowa Task Force for Young Women (ITFYW) served as the initial core collaborative group for IGJI.  The ITFYW expanded its existing membership to include a broader range of juvenile justice system officials and stakeholders.  The purpose was to address the gap in services for this population of young women prompted by the closure of Iowa’s only state training school for girls in January 2014.  It is the function of the ITFYW, using staff support from CJJP, to facilitate planning using the expertise of its expanded membership in consultation with national experts and using available technical assistance. 

Iowa Girls Justice Initiative Final Reports

Data Reports


Iowa Girls' Justice Initiative Goals and Objectives

GOAL 1: Establish an accurate, current and complete picture of the services, needs and gaps pertaining to high risk and/or high need juvenile female offenders. 

GOAL 2: Provide a structure to develop a process to objectively analyze the current effectiveness of services for deep-end female juvenile offenders, and identify strategies to improve the level of care, the effectiveness, and the quality of services for young women under juvenile court jurisdiction that is proportionally equivalent in resources to the same level of care afforded to male juvenile offenders with similar risks and needs.

GOAL 3: Integrate the female and culturally responsive, trauma-informed care, strength-based, and developmentally appropriate plan for services into the existing system.