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Female offenders

This report provides a very good look at how criminal records, race, and gender impact chances for employment. Sections following an executive summary cover: prisoner reentry and employment; race and the criminal justice system; stereotyping racial minorities and the unemployed; crime and employment; finding work in an era of mass incarceration; women, criminal records, and finding employment after prison; focus and research methods using an on-line job application, in-person application, and an employer survey; results according to females, male, and employers; and critical policy considerations regarding the role of the internet in applying for a job, the job interview, job training, and preparation for work, and expanding social capital for former inmates. "Consistent with prior research, we find differences by race/ethnicity, with blacks and Hispanics generally faring more poorly than whites. The differences for the online application process were not as large as for the in person process, but, nonetheless, we did find that a prison record has a dampening effect on job prospects, particularly in the low-skill food service sector, where ex-prisoners are likely to seek employment during reentry. The employer survey revealed strong effects for criminal justice involvement, with employers expressing preferences for hiring individuals with no prior criminal justice contact" (p. 1-2).

Criminal Stigma, Race, Gender, and Employment: An Expanded Assessment of the Consequences of Imprisonment for Employment Cover

“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).

Miller, Elizabeth

New Mexico In Depth 2-26-2018

“Without realizing it, we treat girls differently because of our desire to keep girls ‘safe’” … In the interest of protecting girls from potentially volatile home situations or reducing possible exposure to violence or sexual abuse—and many have a history of forced sexual contact—the county’s report found they were sending these girls to the detention center.”

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.

Developing Gender-Specific Classification Systems for Women Offenders Cover

“[R]esearchers from two long-term longitudinal studies of delinquency— the Denver Youth Survey and the Fast Track Project—collaborated to establish common delinquency measures, conduct analyses, and integrate findings on developmental patterns of girls’ offending from childhood through adolescence ” (p. 1-2). This bulletin presents some of their major results. These are: prevalence and frequency of offending—ever-prevalence, prevalence by age and/or grade, and frequency of offending behavior among girls reporting delinquency; initiation and desistance patterns—girls’ first offenses, age of first offense, and delinquency patterns by grade, transitions between delinquency patterns over time, temporal patterns of delinquency (persisters, desisters, intermittent, and late bloomers); and developmental pathways in girls’ delinquency—developmental sequences, delinquency patterns by grade, transitions between delinquency patterns over time for the Fast Track (multi-state) and the Denver studies. Some of the conclusions from this report include: most of the girls were delinquent in their childhood or adolescent years; a wide range of offending behaviors was reported; offenses were not frequent; the majority of girls did not have the same single beginning offense; and girls began and stopped offending at different ages.

Development Sequences of Girls’ Delinquent Behavior Cover

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.

Effective Management of Female Inmates: Applying the Research on Gender Responsive Correctional Strategies to Local Jails Cover

“The purpose of this bulletin is to explore the literature and summarize the empirical evidence related to the impact of employment on the criminal behavior of women” (p. 2). Sections comprising this publication are: female offender demographics; barriers to employment—overview, the role of the family and the community, time-management skills, and the role of agency; correctional education and vocational programs—education programs, vocational/technical programs, overall effectiveness of these programs, and outcomes for female offenders in educational and vocational programs; employment and crime—the role of employment and desistance from crime, employment outcomes and female offenders, and exploring gender differences in employment and crime; and conclusion.

Employment and Female Offenders:  An Update of the Empirical Research Cover

This is an excellent "series of graphic novels for adult inmates in custodial settings. These graphic novels are intended to educate inmates about how to identify and address incidents of sexual assault. The plot lines in these graphic novels dramatize situations we know occur in custodial settings. The use of graphic novels in community education projects is well established. Through presenting information through an illustrative medium, these novels aim to disseminate information about the sexual abuse reporting process to inmates at all literacy levels. These novels were developed with Inmate Education standard 115.33 of the Prison Rape Elimination Act National Standards in mind. These graphic novels are a first step in reaching out to inmates in order to help them identify, address, and respond to incidents of sexual abuse by staff or other inmates". The three books in the series are: "I Reported It" which focuses on gender non-conforming inmates; "Don't Touch Me" for male inmates; and "The Barter" for female inmates.

Ending Silence: Demanding Safety from Sexual Assault Graphic Novel Series Cover

The fundamentals, cultural considerations, and actions to be taken to address trauma through peer support are explained. “This guide was created for a very specific purpose: to help make trauma-informed peer support available to women who are trauma survivors and who receive or have received mental health and/or substance abuse services. It is designed as a resource for peer supporters in these or other settings who want to learn how to integrate trauma-informed principles into their relationships with the women they support or into the peer support groups they are members of. The goal is to provide peer supporters—both male and female—with the understanding, tools, and resources needed to engage in culturally responsive, trauma-informed peer support relationships with women trauma survivors” (p. 1). Thirteen chapters are in this publication: introduction to trauma and trauma-informed practices; whether one is a trauma survivor or not; peer support fundamentals; gender policies and the criminalization of women; culture and trauma; religion, spirituality, and trauma; trauma-informed peer support across the lifespan; trauma and peer support relationships; self-awareness and self-care; organizational context—working in systems; trauma-informed storytelling and other healing practices; self-inflicted violence and peer support; and reclaiming power through social action.

Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook Cover

This report explains how mothers and their babies can benefit from being held in a prison-based Mother and Baby Unit (MBU). "All available research suggests that the struggles of childbearing women in prison are extremely complex. And whilst their babies represent a relatively small proportion of all children affected by maternal imprisonment, they are arguably the neediest and most vulnerable group. This report documents the findings of a collaborative research project … The project aimed to map current knowledge and research evidence on childbearing women in prison and their babies and to transfer this learning into policy and practice" (p. 5). Findings from this study cover: current provision for childbearing women in prison and their babies; decision-making and unavailability of MBU places; mother and baby relationship during MBU residence; what happens when mothers go to prison and do not secure an MBU place; mother and baby relationship when separation occurs; reentry (resettlement) and reunification issues—Re-Unite being a good practice example; impact of MBU residence on re-offending; the changing landscape of the female prison estate—custodial changes in prison hubs, and community changes; and concerns arising from the research. Some of the recommendations made include: "Effective and tailored alternative sentencing options for mothers of young children need to be available; … The benefits of MBUs need to be actively promoted to external staff, to mothers and also to non MBU prison staff; Mothers in prison need programmes which address self-esteem and healthy relationships; Intensive support packages, with a strong therapeutic focus should be put in place for women who have had their babies adopted, during the mother's prison sentence and continued post-release; … [and] Release from prison needs to be viewed as a process not as an event. The sentence planning of women prisoners who are also mothers needs to include parenting support on release and a 'whole family' approach where appropriate" (p. 5).

Enhancing Care for Childbearing Women and their Babies in Prison cover

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