About Us

We See the Girl for who she is and who she can become.

Born out of the Justice for Girls Reform Movement, the Policy Center opened in 2013 using political science and social science strategies that integrate the lived experiences of girls in the juvenile justice system.  The work is grounded in research to inform the advocacy platform, training, and incubation of model programs to work with girls in each part of the juvenile justice system. The high caliber vision and leadership has positioned the organization for replication in other communities.

Our goal is to ignite citizens to bring a unified voice to change laws, policies, and practices that contribute to inequitable treatment of girls that result in devastating long-term outcomes for girls, young women, and youth who identify as female. 

Public policy has a huge impact on girls.

How do we do it? We work with girls as partners in the four cornerstones of our work: research, advocacy, training, and model programming. 

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Learn more about the Policy Center

Girl-Centered Practice

Girls as Experts

Acknowledge each girl as an experts of her life and her relationships


Sit where a girl sits and see what she sees so we both learn and grow together

Lived Experience

Honor and value each girl’s lived experience, knowledge, culture, ethnicity and language



Ensures that programs are guided by gender relevant theories


Focuses on the importance of girls’ connections (family, friends, schools, and others)


Promotes activism and informed advocacy


Uses reflective practice and active listening without judging


Focuses on the intersectionality of gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, age, ability, education, and socioeconomic status


Recognizes the dynamic community in which girls live, play and learn

Developed in partnership with Barbara Guthrie, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., Northeastern University