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    12.10.15 In Letter to The New York Times, Professor Cynthia Godsoe Calls for Better Treatment of Non-violent Juvenile Offenders
    photo of a professor

    In a Letter to the Editor published in The New York Times Dec. 10, Professor Cynthia Godsoe argues that we should stop jailing nonviolent juvenile offenders and start providing more services and shelters for young people escaping violence. Professor Godsoe was responding to the newspaper’s Nov. 30 editorial “Women Behind Bars.”

    While Professor Godsoe agreed with the editorial’s position that the enormous costs of incarcerating women are out of control, she points out that an overlooked and critical factor is the early age of incarceration for many girls – some as young as 10 years old.

    “Most girls enter the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenses,” Godsoe writes. “They are often punished for attempting to escape family abuse and trauma, arrested for running away or for prostitution, even when they are too young to legally consent to sex.”

    Read the letter.