Girls' Juvenile Justice Uniforms: A Semiotic Analysis of Their Meaning
The purpose of this study was to examine how juvenile justice uniforms subjectively and objectively create meaning for the girls who wear them and the staff who observe them. Forty-one incarcerated female youth and 14 teachers and staff members were personally interviewed regarding their definitions of what pieces and parts constituted the prescribed uniform. Their impressions concerning what signs and symbols embody and communicate the cultural reality of the juvenile justice system were recorded. Although for both groups there is an ambiguity regarding the meaning of the uniform and what it communicates, the findings from this research will further the identification and understanding of the special needs of the female incarcerated youth.