By Lila Shroff, July 2, 2020, KUOW.
Over the past two decades, while juvenile incarceration rates have been decreasing, rates of incarcerated girls have either stayed the same, or increased.
In response, the Kitsap County Girls Court opened in June 2019 as Washington state’s first court system providing service just for girls.
A few months ago, I went to see Girls Court in action.
To address this, the Girls Court operates with a trauma-informed approach. This means understanding the root of the complex issues that land these girls in the justice system in the first place. Sottlie said the goal of Girls Court is to understand “what is underneath all of this trauma and these adverse childhood experiences,” and to provide the girls with a community of people who know and care for them.
From group tie-dye projects to volunteering, Girls Court emphasizes the importance of building relationships with local communities and each other.