National Girls Initiative

Effectively Addressing
the Needs of Girls

National Girls Initiative uses a collaborative approach to catalyzing system change for girls in, and at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system through the delivery of training and technical assistance—from webinars and customized state support, to toolkits and other resources.

What We Do

The vast majority of girls who come in contact with—and are confined within—the juvenile justice system pose little or no threat to public safety. NGI provides support, expertise, and information to state, local, and tribal governments, advocates, service providers, and stakeholders to ensure the system better meets the needs of girls and their families.

The vast majority of girls who come in contact with—and are confined within—the juvenile justice system pose little or no threat to public safety. They are typically nonviolent and have significant, complex, and pressing needs. Moreover, their presence in the juvenile justice system is often the result of the criminalization of behaviors related to experiencing and reacting to trauma and violence. For these girls who pose little or no threat to the public, the juvenile justice system is often a harmful intervention, retraumatizing them, and reducing their opportunities for positive development.

Learn more here.

NGI develops and shares resources to assist stakeholders in effectively addressing the needs of girls in, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system, including information on evidence informed, evidence based and promising practices that are gender and culturally responsive, trauma informed and developmentally appropriate.

Visit Our Resource Library

NGI provides technical assistance to support juvenile justice agencies, advocates, and state, local, and tribal efforts to more effectively address the needs of girls in, or at risk of involvement in, the juvenile justice system.

Request technical assistance through OJJDP’s TTA360.

National Girls Initiative spotlights and supports creative efforts to advance systems-level juvenile justice reforms for girls.

Visit Models of Innovation

A Focus on Girls

The vast majority of girls who come in contact with—and are confined within—the juvenile justice system pose little or no threat to public safety. They are typically nonviolent and have significant, complex, and pressing needs. Moreover, their presence in the juvenile justice system is often because of criminalization of behaviors related to experiencing trauma and violence. For these girls who pose little or no threat to the public, the juvenile justice system is often a harmful intervention, retraumatizing them, and reducing their opportunities for positive development.

Providing Resources

NGI develops and shares resources to assist stakeholders in effectively addressing the needs of girls in, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system, including information on evidence informed, evidence based and promising practices that are gender and culturally responsive, trauma informed and developmentally appropriate.

Visit Our Resource Library

Technical Assistance

NGI provides technical assistance to support juvenile justice agencies and state, local, and tribal efforts to more effectively address the needs of girls in, or at risk of involvement in, the juvenile justice system.

Request TA

Supporting Innovation

National Girls Initiative spotlights and supports creative efforts to advance systems-level juvenile justice reforms for girls.

Visit Models of Innovation

In Our Resource Library

Up-to-Date Materials on Systems-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls

Why Center Girls?

In 2015, 37% of detained girls were held on on charges of status offenses or technical violations, which rarely pose threats to public safety.

Models of Innovation

Learn about model efforts to improve system and programmatic responses to girls and young women in the juvenile justice system.


Using a Collaborative Approach

The National Crittenton Foundation cooperatively leads the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) National Girls Initiative (NGI) which focuses on catalyzing change for girls in, and at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system.

Girls are disproportionately arrested, formally processed, detained, and incarcerated in the juvenile justice system for offenses that pose little or no threat to public safety. NGI is a reflection of commitment to ensuring that when girls come into contact with the juvenile justice system that it is rare, fair and beneficial. There is much work to do and we are committed to getting it done.”

-Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, President, The National Crittenton Foundation