Stoneleigh Fellow Leslie Acoca is featured in The Chronicle of Social Change as Girls Health Screen is adopted by the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Health issues are especially critical for girls in the justice system. Research has found that across all measures girls in the justice system report being victimized more than boys. When it comes to sexual abuse, the gap widens even further—girls reported sexual abuse 4.4 times more often than boys. Yet most yet services in the juvenile justice system are still designed for boys, according to Acoca. Acoca formed the National Girls Health and Justice Institute to make sure that the life-threatening health needs of girls are not overlooked. Working with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Juvenile Law Center and other partners, she helped develop the Girls Health Screen, the first evidence-based tool aimed at identifying the health issues and trauma faced by girls and young women in the justice system.