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Dressed in a baggy T-shirt cotton pants and runners with long wavy hair falling around her shoulders she looks like an ordinary teenager Yet because of her crime she spent her sweet sixteen birthday locked up in one of British Columbias closed custody units for youth Janice which is not her real name because the Young Offenders Act prohibits publication of a youths identity is incarcerated for her part in the brutal murder of 14 year-old Reena Virk in November 1997 an event that shocked the country and prompted Bad Girl headlines coast to coast What made this case so unbelievable was that seven out of eight of the teens who participated in butting out a cigarette on Virks forehead and punching and kicking her until she was dazed and bleeding were girls Chislom 1997 Many people believe that because of incidents like this there must be a major problem with our female youth and crime today Although this was an extremely heinous crime are female youths really becoming more violent and more capable of murder Are crimes committed by young females catching up to the number of crimes committed by young males These are questions sought and researched by many individuals and groups in Canadian society as well as all around the world No matter what the numbers are today of crimes committed by young females the crimes they commit are still significantly lower than that of their male counterparts However there is an increase of young female offenders and it is becoming more recognized by the media and society Female offenders commit relatively fewer severe crimes than males they are less likely to recidivate and yet although the Young Offenders Act abolished status offences young women are treated differently by the courts compared to youthful males In general both young males and females have the same factors which may lead them down the path to commit crime Many adolescents who
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