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Stopping the Girls to Prison Pipeline
By Leslie Acoca | April 1, 2015
Stoneleigh Fellow Leslie Acoca authors an article featured in the 2015 book, Girls in Justice, about the unique health needs of girls who are involved in the juvenile justice system.
I was sitting in a sweltering California courtroom, serving as an expert witness on an adult case, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a tiny girl, fully shackled, walking down the courtroom aisle beside me. I was shocked to see what looked like a child barely five feet tall with heavy chains looped around her wrists, ankles, and belly. Yet what caused me to speak out was that the girl was eight and a half months pregnant, clearly afraid of stumbling and falling on her stomach as she shuffled past me.