Delinquent girls become adults: A qualitative analysis of their trajectory towards desisting or persisting delinquent women.

Project Details


The historical and international underrepresentation of girls and women in crime statistics has been well documented. Because of their low participation in crime, delinquent girls and women have long been ignored in criminological research. However recently, the question whether female offenders are "catching up" with males has become a hot item in scholarly literature. Yet, within this growing body of knowledge, two important lacunas can be identified. First, in the international literature, insights into female persistent offenders' profile and judicial pathways remain rather limited. Second, on a national level, research on female offenders in general and female persistent offenders in particular remains rare.
By means of a prospective follow up study of delinquent girls with a juvenile justice court's file we want to analyse the specific profile and specific trajectory of young female (persistent and desistant) offenders. Besides, interviews with both persistent and desistant female offenders can shed light on differences between both groups. This way the factors influencing the process of desistance of delinquent women can be analysed. Finally, a comparison of these findings with previous research findings on judicial trajectories of youngsters and young adults can provide important insights into the question whether there are differences between "adult onset" female offenders and female offenders with a history of youth delinquency.
Effective start/end date1/01/1231/12/14


  • Sentencing
  • Pre-Trial Detention
  • Community Policing
  • Restorative Justice
  • Criminal Policy
  • Criminal Law
  • Prison Systems
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Economic Criminality
  • Criminal Procedure

Flemish discipline codes

  • Law and legal studies