Patricia van Voorhis
Criminal career patterns, social context and features, psychological factors, potential matches in prior pathways research, sub-types, and treatment goals are provided for the following types of women's pathways to crime: "Type 1 - Quasi-Normal non-violent women with drug/alcohol issues"; "Type 2 - Lifelong Victims, many of whom have abusive partners, drug problems and depression"; "Type 3 - Socialized Subcultural Pathways, poor and marginalized but with low victimization and few mental health problems"; "Type 4 - Aggressive Antisocial, high risk/high need and victimized, mental health issues"; [and] women offenders not classified.
The development of new risk/needs assessments specifically designed for female offenders is discussed. This report is comprised of these sections:
- The case for women's needs;
- Development of new assessments;
- Construction validation research;
- Full instruments;
- Implementation considerations;
- Obtaining the gender-responsive assessments;
- And conclusion.
Findings from a telephone assessment of state and federal practices for classifying women offenders are presented. In addition to an executive summary, this report has the following chapters:
- Issues in classifying women offenders -- the literature;
- And discussion.
Most states still apply a male-based classification system to women.
The development of improved strategies for classifying female offenders is addressed. Sections of this report include:
- Issues in classifying women offenders -- the literature review;
- National assessment of current female offender classification practices;
- Focus groups with corrections professionals and women offenders;
- Directions for technical assistance (TA);
- TA -- Hawaii Department of Public Safety;
- TA -- Nebraska Department of Correctional Services;
- TA -- Colorado Department of Corrections;
- And lessons learned -- female offenders can be classified using instruments currently utilized with some adjustments, measures of offender needs offer substantial contributions to the validity of a custody classification system, precise definitions and accurate measurement are important considerations, the cooperative agreement reduced over-classification but did not nullify it, and over-classification is not only found in the classification system.
An overview of the work done by collaborative partnerships to design and validate gender-responsive risk and needs assessments for female offenders is provided. This article discusses issues surrounding female offender classification and the current National Institute of Corrections (NIC) study regarding gender-responsive approaches to risk and needs assessment.
A report which highlights the results of two cooperative agreements from the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) addressing the critical need for gender-specific objective classification systems is presented. Following an executive summary are six chapters: introduction; classification issues for women offenders--the literature; NIC Prisons Division--women's classification initiatives (e.g., National Assessment of Current Practices for Classifying Women Offenders and Working With Correctional Agencies to Improve Classification for Women Offenders); building blocks to effective classification of women offenders; addressing classification issues that require systemic change; and future steps. This report also has two appendixes: descriptions of seven states women's classification initiatives (Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Wisconsin); and sample initial and reclassification instruments developed by Colorado and Idaho.
This paper describes assessments of female offenders used by correctional agencies and the programs and resources provided by these agencies to meet female offenders' needs. "The two, assessments and programs/services go together. The assessments tell us what is needed and the programs address identified needs" (p. 43). Topics discussed include: gender-responsive risk assessments and the risk factors they identify; women's pathways to crime—child abuse pathway, relational pathway, and the social and human capital pathway; mental health, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and parental stress; risk factors by correctional setting—prisons, pre-release, and probation; translating the gender-specific research into practice; interventions for women offender populations; and the Gender-Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) 12 domains.