The University of Central Arkansas’s Gender Studies program will host a panel discussion on gender and delinquency Thursday. 

The discussion will begin at 1:40 p.m. in the Student Center Room 223/224. A panel of distinguished speakers will discuss the juvenile court system and programs to assist at-risk youth. 

Guest speakers include:

• 20th District Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Wood, who  will discuss the structure of Juvenile Court, the path from arrest to adjunction, and what delinquency dispositional alternatives are available to a juvenile judge. She will also talk about Families in Need of Services cases.

• Faye Shepherd, community resource coordinator and a juvenile probation officer for Faulkner County Juvenile Court, who will share information about her gender-specific programs to intervene and attempt to change risky behaviors in both genders including a boxing program for boys and a book club for girls. These and other programs are designed to rehabilitate court-involved youth and reduce the chances of their re-offending. She will also discuss what girls’ needs are once they are in the system compared to boys. 

• Scott Tanner, coordinator of the Juvenile Ombudsman Division, provides post dispositional advocacy on behalf of youth adjudicated as delinquent and remanded to the Division of Youth Services. He serves at the pleasure of the Governor as a board member of the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Mr. Tanner will discuss the route the girls come into the system. 

• Luke Ferguson, deputy prosecuting attorney, will focus on the basic differences between the types of offences committed by male juveniles and those committed by female juveniles. 

The UCA Department of Sociology is sponsoring the program.