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Iowa Task Force for Young Women

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Promoting innovative female responsive techniques through education and advocacy

The Iowa Task Force for Young Women (ITFYW) was formed in 1995, as a subcommittee of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council (JJAC).  The JJAC serves as Iowa’s State Advisory Group for administration of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.  The ITFYW serves to address the issue of females and juvenile justice and to advise the JJAC.  The goal of the ITFYW has been, and continues to be, to facilitate a comprehensive fundamental change in the juvenile justice system that will enhance the understanding and utilization of innovative gender-responsive approaches in all programs and services that serve the adolescent female population of Iowa’s juvenile justice system.


“The Iowa Task Force for Young Women has been front and center on influencing change in the juvenile system and understanding best practices for working with girls – even before the term ‘gender responsive’ was popular.” 

~Giovanna Taormina, Executive Director, One Circle Foundation, California

“When you recall that today’s girls are tomorrow’s women, the Iowa Task Force for Young Women is guaranteeing that the future will be bright for tomorrow’s leaders, female as well as male, while also providing the nation with a model approach to girls’ services.” 

~Dr. Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii 


Iowa Task Force for Young Women Members

Jennifer Tibbetts, ChairCatherine McAuley CenterCedar Rapids
Lori Rinehart, Vice ChairDes Moines
Ashley Artzer

5th Judicial District Juvenile Court Services

Des Moines

Kristen Corey

Office on the Status of Women

Des Moines

Andrea Dencklau

Youth Policy Institute of Iowa

Des Moines

Andrea Dickerson

Youth & Shelter Services

Ames
Jackie EllenbeckerJuvenile Court ServicesMarshalltown
Lindsay HammesWoodward AcademyWoodward
Stephanie HernandezFamily ResourcesDavenport

Bethany Kohoutek

Lutheran Services in Iowa

Des Moines

Julie MartinLinn County Juvenile Justice CenterCedar Rapids
Danielle MastenJuvenile Court ServicesDes Moines
Marissa SchusterWoodward AcademyWoodward
Maria ValdezJuvenile Court ServicesDes Moines

Position Paper

Services for Females under Juvenile Court Jurisdiction with High Risk and/or Need Factors


Goals & Objectives

Priority Four:  Female Equity*

Goal 1:  Make the experiences and needs of girls who are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system (i.e. black, native and LGBT youth) central to the ongoing work of the ITFYW

Objective 1

Minimize juvenile justice and feeder system(s) contact for low risk girls of color, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming girls through systemic change.

 

Objective 2

Promote and make available relevant training and technical assistance.

Objective 3

Explore and assess a variety of other systemic changes that may be both gender and culturally responsive.

Goal 2:  Establishment of a specialized setting(s) for serious, violent and chronic offenders as well as systemic measures to reduce the need for such a setting as outlined in the recommendations of the Iowa Girls Justice Initiative report.  In addition to the recommendations outlined in the IGJI report –

Objective 1

Develop a messaging and policy strategy.

Objective 2

Collaborate with key partners.

Objective 3

Monitor and provide ongoing assessment of how the change in out of home group care has impacted girls. Specifically, the new contracts in place from DHS which emphasize proximity to home over specialized treatment based on youth profile, risk and needs. Additionally, any impact of the federal Family First legislation.

Objective 4

Monitor and provide ongoing assessment regarding the experience of Iowa girls involved in the juvenile justice system, particularly their experience in secure detention.

Goal 3:  Fill the gaps and improve the quality in the continuum of care for girls in both residential and community-based service settings with well-defined options that allow for differential responses based on culture, risk level, development and needs.

Objective 1

Identify gender and culturally responsive gaps along the continuum of services for girls involved in or at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

 

Objective 2

Address gender and culturally responsive gaps along the continuum of services for girls involved in or at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. 

Objective 3

Monitor and provide ongoing assessment of how the change in out of home group care has impacted girls as well as any impact of the federal Family First legislation the practical application of it develops.

Goal 4:  Dedicated state funds for equitable treatment of females in the JJ system.

Objective 1

Determine the costs associated with serving girls.

Objective 2

Raise awareness about the lack of services for girls, the unintended consequences of this lack and garner support for dedicated funding.

Objective 3

Explore additional funding streams and partnerships beyond state funding.

*A complete list of goals & objectives for the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council can be found here.



Recent ITFYW Meetings

The Iowa Task Force for Young Women usually meets quarterly during the months of February, May, August, and November.  Please check the calendar for future times and locations.