Artist and Researcher

Juvenile Justice: Project Uncaged


Juvenile Justice:

Tasha conducts trauma-informed creative writing workshops for young women in U.S. juvenile detention and rehab facilities — a population often underserved and underheard by a system designed for males. Unlike young men, young women are mostly arrested for running away, truancy, and substance use: 3 of the most common symptoms of abuse. Young women are also more likely than young men to have been victims of sexual assault and to suffer from mental illness. Unfortunately, the juvenile justice system struggles to adequately or equitably meet their needs.

In response, Tasha's research-based curriculum, "Project Uncaged," offers creative programming while also forging opportunities for girls to inform local decisions. The arts-based approach uniquely amplifies young women’s stories, voices, and needs, with an eye toward increasing gender equity and improving local resources for teen girls.

In 2017, Golden partnered with Sarabande Books to publish an anthology of poetry from girls in Louisville KY's Youth Detention Services, available online and at local bookstores. The book was also mailed with customized action recommendations to judges, the Mayor's office, local and state legislators, and community leaders.

In 2018, Project Uncaged has again partnered with Sarabande Books to offer twice-weekly workshops for girls in Louisville's Youth Detention. These will result in more anthologies (forthcoming from Sarabande), evaluation by the University of Louisville's Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky, and analysis of girls' writing to help the city recognize the assets and needs of Louisville's justice-involved girls.