A striking increase over the last decade in both victimization and criminality among young African-American women is setting off alarms, spurring research, and drawing attention to the cultural needs of young black girls, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Many live in neighborhoods where guns, gangs, and drugs are common. And many come from families with at least one relative in jail, making prison terms a norm.
Women account for almost 25 percent of those in the juvenile justice system. Young black women are twice as likely as young white women to be victims of violence. Young black women are picked up by police at three times the rate of young white women. Monique Morris of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency says that the rate at which black girls were charged with property offenses soared by 92 percent from 1985 to 1994, compared with a 38 percent rise for girls overall.