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Sounding the Alarm: Criminalization of Black Girls in Florida

Watch the virtual press briefing and read the full report

Sounding the Alarm: Criminalization of Black Girls in Florida, the Policy Center's latest research released on March 11, highlights the inequitable treatment of Black girls in both the education and justice systems.


Black girls are entering the juvenile justice system at disproportionate rates compared to their peers.

Black girls account for 21% of the general population but makeup HALF of the girls in the juvenile justice system. They are overrepresented in rates of suspension, arrest, and incarceration.

“While the disparate discipline rates among girls are troubling, what’s equally disturbing is the lack of awareness of how historical trauma and racial bias impact our day-to-day interactions with girls of color. Black girls do not misbehave more than their White peers, but their behaviors are responded to much more harshly.”

- Vicky Basra, President & CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center


Sounding the Alarm takes a deeper dive into how critical points in the education and justice systems continue to exacerbate the harsher treatment that jeopardizes girls' wellbeing. This report highlights the Policy Center's recommendations for immediate action including:

  • Banning suspension for students in preschool through third grade
  • Set limits on arrest for youth under the age of 12
  • Increase funding for girl-centered and trauma-informed school mental health services
  • Increased use of alternatives to arrest at school and in the community

Reform is overdue. The critical need for immediate action is why the Policy Center remains keenly focused on creating safe, equitable, supported environments for every girl to thrive. We encourage you to read the report, watch the briefing, and share with your community.


Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center
40 E. Adams St. Suite 130  | Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 598-0901 | mmcelwee@seethegirl.org

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