Reviews information on gender-specific policies, programs, and services in corrections. Topics covered by this bulletin include: the Gender-Responsive Strategies Project -- approach and findings; defining gender responsiveness; national profile of women offenders; the foundation for the principles a new vision -- six guiding principles for a gender-responsive criminal justice system; general strategies for implementing guiding principles; gender-responsive policy elements; and conclusion -- addressing the realities of women's lives is the key to improved outcomes.
“In the following, we review the literature relevant to the study of violence and safety in women’s prison. We begin with the demographic and background characteristics of female offenders. The pathways model is then described, which emphasizes the life experiences of women that contribute to criminal behavior. This review will then describe the subcultural elements of women’s prisons that influence vulnerabilities, victimization, and violence. The types and prevalence of violence in women’s prisons, particularly sexual assault, are also summarized. A summary of the National Inmate Survey, a PREA-mandated data collection that measures inmate self-reports is provided. This review then provides a summary of recent research by the authors that examines the context of gendered violence and safety in women’s correctional facilities and results from a project that sought to validate an instrument intended to measure women’s perceptions of safety and violence” (p. 1).
Research, practice, and guiding principles related to gender-responsive strategies and utilized in jail settings are exchanged. The six guiding principles are: acknowledge that gender makes a difference; create an environment based on safety, respect, and dignity; develop policies, practices, and programs that are relational and promote healthy connections to children, family, significant others, and the community; address the issues of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health through comprehensive, integrated, culturally-relevant services and appropriate supervision; provide women with opportunities to improve their socioeconomic conditions; and establish a system of community supervision and reentry with comprehensive, collaborative services.
Guidance for those individuals "seeking to more effectively respond to the behavior and circumstances of the female offender" is offered (p. iv). An executive summary and the following four chapters comprise this manual: characteristics of women in the criminal justice system -- a descriptive summary; women offenders and criminal justice practice; the context of women's lives -- a multidisciplinary review of research and theory; and a new vision -- guiding principles for a gender-responsive criminal justice system. An appendix provides information regarding legal considerations with regard to women offenders.
"In response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), this project . . . examined the context and correlates of both violence and safety in correctional facilities for women" (p. 1). This report is divided into three parts after an abstract and executive summary: Part I, entitled "Gendered Violence and Safety: Improving Security in Women's Facilities," contains the chapters introduction, literature review, gendered violence in women's prisons and jails, and policy implications and recommendations; Part II, entitled "Focus Group Methodology and Findings," covers focus group data collection and methods, individual and relationship factors, community and culture, facility factors, and staff factors; and Part III, entitled "Measuring Gendered Violence and Safety: Research Design and Methods," discusses developing the survey, survey development results for problems in the housing unit violence, policy, and climate, and factors leading to violence; and summary and conclusions.