Bill of Health Rights for Incarcerated Girls
by Girl Talk & Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

 activism  health  juvenile-justice

A right is defined as something that all people deserve, simply because they are human beings. This bill of rights was created by young women who are or have been incarcerated in Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. These are rights that all young women deserve, regardless of their involvement with the juvenile justice system.

  1. Family Contact. We believe girls should be able to see their children more than once a week and without a judge’s special permission. Girls should be allowed to see their immediate family members regardless of age.
  2. Accurate Information. We believe girls should have access to information about their health records and their court case details.
  3. Personal Privacy and Confidentiality. We believe girls have a right to privacy that includes their personal information as well as their bodies and personal space.
  4. Food, Water, and Exercise. We believe girls should have access to nutritious food, sufficient water, and daily exercise.
  5. Proper Hygiene. We believe girls should have more time to bathe, quality bathing products, as well as clean clothes and towels more often.
  6. Adequate & respectful mental health care. We believe girls should have access to counseling services for their mental health.
  7. Another Chance. We believe girls have the right not to be treated as criminals upon their release from detention and to be connected with community resources prior to release.
  8. Medical care. We believe girls have a right to receive medical attention and medicine when they are ill.
  9. Gender-specific care. We believe young women struggle with issues that are specifically related to their experience as girls, and deserve support in doing so from people who understand those issues.
  10. Freedom from discrimination and verbal & physical abuse. We believe girls have a right to be respected by both staff and peers.


Through a partnership between Health and Medicine Policy Research Group and Girl Talk, this document was created in 2005 by both girls in and recently released from detention.