Spalding receives juvenile justice grant to help girls

Spalding University’s Criminal Justice Studies Program has received a grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The funds, $127,341, will be used to “divert Black girls from the juvenile justice system,” according to a press release from Spalding.

Spalding educators Dr. Cicely J. Cottrell and Kim Frierson will develop and implement a program called “Sister’s Keeper Achieving Resilience and Success (SKARS).” The program is meant to be a “culturally responsive, trauma-informed and restorative program” for Black girls ages 12-17 residing in Jefferson County, said the release. Cottrell is chair of the Criminal Justice Studies Program and Frierson is an assistant professor of social work,.

SKARS will provide a diversion program for the girls through the Court Designated Worker’s Program, the release said, noting that the program also will respond to their “increasing complaints and detention rates.” 

“There is a need to better understand the inequities Black girls face in Jefferson County and to develop actionable steps to address the disparities,” the release said. 

Cotrell seeks to do this work in partnership with community-based organizations, educational institutions, faith-based entities and government entities. To participate in an interview to identify “key strategies and challenges” to support Black girls, contact Cottrell at  

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