Although the youth crime rate in San Francisco has declined in the past decade, the number of girls in the juvenile justice system has doubled. GIRL TROUBLE, an intimate documentary by directors Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko, goes beyond the statistics and chronicles four years in the lives of three teenage girls struggling to free themselves from San Francisco's complex and flagging juvenile justice system.

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Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story

Mothers of Bedford follows five women as they attempt to "parent" their children from prison. The film examines the struggles and joys these five women face as prisoners and mothers. It shows the normal frustrations of parenting as well as the surreal experiences of a child's first birthday party inside prison, the cell that child lives in with her mother, and the biggest celebration of the year, Mother's Day in prison!


Films By Youth Inside

Films By Youth Inside (FYI) is a nonprofit organization that empowers young people affected by the juvenile justice system to improve their lives and become self-reliant. Through the art of cinema, media literacy and the creative story- telling process, youth find their voice and develop valuable skills that can be applied to all areas of their life. To read more, click here.

NPR: All Things Considered: Girls and the Juvenile Justice System

Girls and the Juvenile Justice System is a new five-part series focusing on the harsh and difficult realities young girls face as they battle the complex justice system in the United States. It begins with a look at the Florida Institute for Girls in West Palm Beach. The state opened the maximum-security facility three years ago, after seeing a sharp spike in the number of girls committing violent crimes. The detention center, which focuses on high-risk females with intensive mental health issues, is the last stop in the juvenile justice system before prison, says director Jacque Layne. "Girls call it the last chance ranch, " Layne says. " If they can't make it here, they're not going to make it." Many of the teenagers at the center committed serious violent crimes: car-jacking, armed robbery, aggravated battery, manslaughter. Some have been in and out of juvenile delinquency programs for years. Broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, dropping out of school and a family history of criminal activity are the norm. NPR's Debbie Elliott reports on some of the girls' stories.


Girls at Greater Risk in Justice System

Boys who commit serious crimes are the focus of the juvenile justice system in this country because the system, quite bluntly, is designed to protect adults from out-of-control thugs. But new research indicates we may be concentrating on the wrong sex. Girls, according to studies out of Ohio State University in Columbus, are actually at higher risk than boys for venturing down the wrong path later in life. That's because the problems girls face are very different from those confronting males, and the justice system is failing to address that, according to Stephen Gavazzi, professor of human development and family science at Ohio State and co-author of a study to be published in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior.