Drs. J. (Juliette) Sonderman is a psychologist and social worker. For some 30 years, she has worked with and for young people and children endangered in their development (most recently: as behavioural expert in the juvenile rehabilitation centre in Haarlem). She is currently involved in developing education for higher vocational education (national minor ‘working in detention centres’) for Leiden University of Applied Sciences and is engaged in conducting (doctoral) research into the treatment of girls in secure youth care (see research). Prof. Geert Jan Stams (University of Amsterdam) supervises this research with the assistance of dr. Peer van der Helm.
Living group climate research often gives rise to more questions. Analyses of existing data from the living group climate research show that there are strong indications that being detained in secure institutions affects girls differently than boys (Sonderman & Van der Helm, 2012). Over time, boys seem to profit more from their stay in the secure institution: each time they value the living group climate in the institution more positively and their treatment motivation increases. Although there were still too few data about girls in the longitudinal research into the living group climate, it seems that as their stay in the secure institution lengthens girls are more inclined to suffer under the treatment than to profit from it. From recent research by Van der Molen en Krabbedam (2013) it emerges that after their stay in a secure juvenile detention centre girls always cope poorly. Enslavement, prostitution and teenage motherhood characterize their everyday circumstances. If you are interested in what their life is like, the recent documentary "Alexandra" by a producer who himself has ‘hands-on’ experience in this provides a perfect illustration of this.