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For many of the kids who come through the doors of the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Jacksonville, Florida, life has been tough, but it’s especially tough for the girls.
A 2014 study showed 31 percent of girls in Florida’s juvenile justice system have been sexually abused and 41 percent of girls have been physically abused.
“Girls experience trauma at a different frequency and different kinds of trauma than boys, girls react differently, and respond to that trauma differently,” Judge David Gooding of Fourth Circuit Court in Florida, told PBS NewsHour.
That’s why, in an effort not to traumatize them further, the center has tried to make an otherwise stark facility a little more comfortable. And officials say the reforms have led to big changes in the kids’ behavior.
NewsHour was recently granted rare access to film inside the detention center. Watch the video with NewsHour’s Megan Thompson above.
Watch the full report on programs in Jacksonville, Florida, that aim to rehabilitate rather than incarcerate delinquent girls.
Megan Thompson shoots, produces and reports on-camera for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Her report "Costly Generics" earned an Emmy nomination and won Gracie and National Headliner Awards. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health. Previously, Thompson worked for the PBS shows and series Need to Know, Treasures of New York, WorldFocus and NOW on PBS. Prior to her career in journalism she worked in research and communications on Capitol Hill. She originally hails from the great state of Minnesota and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MA in Journalism from New York University.
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