Ecological Ruptures and Strain: Girls, Juvenile Justice, and Phone Removal


Girls in the juvenile justice system routinely have their cell phones and internet access removed as a part of court orders. Building on feminist criminology and ecological systems theory, this paper will demonstrate that phone removal causes a rupture of girls’ digital ecology. This rupture exacerbates strains conducive to crime and victimization. Findings are generated from an ethnographic study that took place in a Northeastern United States city. Forty-two girls took part in focus groups and a series of interviews, and 22 practitioners took part in semi-structured interviews. This research shows that phones act as a positive and protective force supporting girls through feelings of safety, helping them cope with challenging events at home and on the street. Understanding the phone as a part of a broader ecology contextualizes why girls would subsequently commit crimes to restore their digital ecology.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2022-03-01
Pages:120 to 134
Section:Part 1: Digital (in)Justices
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How to Cite
Lyttle Storrod, M. . (2022) “Ecological Ruptures and Strain: Girls, Juvenile Justice, and Phone Removal”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 11(1), pp. 120-134. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2188.

Author Biography

Widener University
 United States

Dr Michelle Lyttle Storrod is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Widener University. Michelle’s research sits at the intersection of cybercrime, juvenile justice and feminism.

Publons ID: U-5430-2019