Learning and Knowledge Exchanges
This is a submission to B.C’s Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act highlighting state failures to protect girls and young women from violence as the root cause of girls’ homelessness, institutionalization and criminalization. This submission calls for the decriminalization of teen girls entirely, operating from the knowledge that their involvement in the criminal justice system is rooted in their efforts to protect themselves.
This report identifies pathways to, impacts of, and solutions to girl homelessness. Girls and women who have experienced poverty and homelessness led the direction, content and work of the project. The report argues that prevention and responses to girl homelessness must begin with the purpose of achieving girls’ basic human rights and especially freedom from male violence.
This report provides a unique glimpse of young women’s experiences of criminalization. Four girls with first-hand experiences of being arrested, appearing in court, and spending time in prison share their stories. The report also offers an overview of the history of girls’ imprisonment in Canada, and the many human and equality-rights abuses criminalized girls are currently subject to.