Juvenile Delinquency and Masculinity: The Need for Gender-responsive Programming in Juvenile Correctional Institutions in Palestine

Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Masculinity Studies
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Védís Ólafsdóttir
Juvenile delinquency, masculinity, junior offenders, correctional facility, and gendered response programs


Juvenile reoffending is a costly and perplexing social problem in Palestine. Palestinian boys are brought up in a system that encourages hegemonic forms of masculinities involving competition, hierarchy, stoicism, sexism, and homophobia. These tendencies are reinforced through institutional and interpersonal mechanisms and through the experience of living under Israeli military occupation. This paper discusses the importance of redefining and reconstructing masculinity in the Palestinian juvenile correction centres. This paper discusses how youth identities, and specifically their gendered selves, are maintained or disrupted while in the juvenile correctional treatment programs in Palestine. The specific analysis will include assessing the need for a gendered responsive program in the Palestinian context. The discussion seeks to open an angle of conversation concerning the significance of masculinities in juvenile delinquency centres in Palestine. The paper poses an alternative lens through which to examine whether the juvenile system in Palestine fulfils its charge of therapeutic rehabilitation in order to prevent future involvement in crime and, if not, how we can implement a gender-responsive program to help improve the current system.