About Francine T. Sherman
Francine Sherman is a Clinical Associate Professor at Boston College Law School where she has been teaching Juvenile Justice and Children’s Rights & Public Policy for the past twenty years and where she founded and directs the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program. She speaks and writes widely about the juvenile justice system and, in particular, about girls in the justice system. She has testified before Congress, served on the U.S. Department of Justice National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women focusing on children and teens victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault, and as consultant to OJJDP’s National Girls Initiative. Her most recent report, Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls, provides a comprehensive overview of the needs and pathways of girls into and through the justice system and details a developmental approach to current juvenile justice reforms. She is also the author of Detention Reform and Girls, a volume of the Pathways to Detention Reform series published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (2005), and Making Detention Reform Work for Girls: Practice Guide #5 (Annie E. Casey Foundation). She is also the author of the book, Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy and Practice (Wiley & Sons), and “Justice for Girls: Are we Making Progress?” (UCLA Law Review). She is an ongoing consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative on strategies to reduce the detention of girls nationally, and regularly consults with national and local foundations and systems on issues related to girls in the justice system. Her current research continues to explore a developmental approach to juvenile justice for girls and young women and includes oral histories of young women with justice system histories, qualitative research focusing on pregnant and parenting young women in the juvenile justice system, and law and social science research with Impact Justice on LBQ/GNCT girls detained for prostitution.
- Fall 2016: Children's Law and Public Policy, Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project Clinic, Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program Practice
- Spring 2017: Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project Clinic, Juvenile Rights Advocacy Program Practice
Clinical Professor and Director,
Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton Center, MA 02459
Books and Reports (8)
Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls Boston College Law School Faculty Papers (2015)
Despite decades of attention, the proportion of girls in the juvenile justice system has increased and their challenges have remained remarkably consistent, resulting in deeply rooted systemic gender injustice. The literature is clear that girls ...
Making Detention Reform Work for Girls: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform (2013)
Throughout the nation, court-involved girls frequently pose minimal risk to public safety but suffer with significant social service needs. Data on detention utilization show that girls are being disproportionately detained for misdemeanors, status offenses and ...
Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice (2011)
This accessible, edited volume reflects the multiplisciplinary, multisectoral nature of juvenile justice, including chapters by leaders in the fields of child development, law, public health, education, advocacy, and public administration. The voices of scholars, parents, ...
Consent to Medical Treatment by Minors in Massachusetts: A Guide for Practitioners (2006)
This guide is designed for healthcare providers, social service agency employees, and other practitioners who connect young people with the medical care they need. While the age of consent for all medical treatment in Massachusetts ...
Taking on the Challenge: Phase I of the Hyams Foundation Girls' Initiative (2006)
This report describes Phase I of The Hyams Foundation’s funding initiative for eight programs providing direct services to girls in Boston and Chelsea, Massachusetts. Although the programs varied in their sophistication and experience with gender-responsive ...
Detention Reform and Girls: Challenges and Solutions: JDAI Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform #13 (2005)
This report is part of the Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Pathways to Detention Reform Series. It describes the urgent need for juvenile justice systems to focus on their female populations ...
Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: Perspectives on Services and Conditions of Confinement (2003)
This report details the results of original survey and interview research on perceptions of Judges, Attorneys and girls in the juvenile justice system on conditions of confinement for girls in detention and post-disposition confinement.
Transforming Social Inquiry, Transforming Social Action: New Paradigms for Crossing the Theory/Practice Divide in Universities and Communities (2000)
This edited volume describes models of interdisciplinary collaboration in which universities and communities work together on participatory action research and social action. The university and community partnerships described in this volume are in the areas ...
Justice for Girls: Are We Making Progress? Criminal Justice (2013)
Social expectations that girls behave obediently, modestly, and cautiously result in the detention and incarceration of girls who fight back at home or in intimate relationships and who are victims of sexual exploitation. The structural ...
Reframing the Response: Girls in the Juvenile Justice System and Domestic Violence Juvenile and Family Justice Today (2009)
This article provides an overview of the role gender plays in juvenile justice processing. It reviews national data on girls’ arrest patterns and links those patterns to girls’ underlying needs and trauma histories. The article ...
Access to Community Healthcare for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: Initial Lessons From the Massachusetts Health Passport Project Women, Girls and Criminal Justice (2007)
From 2004-2010, the author directed the Massachusetts Health Passport Project (MHPP), aimed at facilitating continuous access to healthcare for girls and boys in the juvenile justice system in two Massachusetts counties. This article describes the ...
When Individual Differences Demand Equal Treatment: An Equal Rights Approach to the Special Needs of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System Wisconsin Women's Law Journal (2003)
This article argues that disparities girls face in the juvenile justice system can be remedied by employing equal rights analysis including the federal Equal Protection Clause, state Equal Rights Amendments, and Title IX of the ...
Contributions to Books (10)
Children's Rights and Relationships: A Legal Framework Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice (2011)
This chapter provides an overview of United States children’s law, framed both in terms of autonomy-based and needs-based rights, and by the legal dynamic among child, parent, and state. The chapter highlights the law of ...
The Role of Gender in Youth Systems: Grace's Story Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice (2011)
This chapter —written from a legal and developmental perspective —describes the experiences of ‘‘Grace,’’ a teenage girl involved with multiple public systems, including juvenile justice. Through detailed analysis of primary interview data with Grace and ...
The System Response to the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Girls Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice (2011)
This chapter, which is written from the perspectives of law, public health, and social work, examines the system’s response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), focusing on girls. It describes the issue and ...