Smith, A.
Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 6(2), 1-12
Publication year: 2015

This paper explores the benefits of taking a community psychology approach to designing and implementing a program for female juvenile offenders (FJOs). Despite policy initiatives calling for more gender-specific programming, few gender-specific programs for FJOs are evidenced-based and culturally sensitive, and the juvenile justice system still struggles to apply FJO research findings to FJO program development (Shepherd, 2002). This struggle to bridge research and practice is especially pronounced in community-based juvenile arbitration programs that often lack time and resources to develop research-based programs. This paper expounds on some of the gaps in FJO programming and argues that a community psychology approach is useful in addressing these gaps. It demonstrates the value of a community psychology approach by describing the process of developing a community-based arts intervention for FJOs participating in a community arbitration program. After discussing the process and challenges, the paper concludes with recommendations for the field.