"Because fewer women are convicted of crimes and incarcerated compared to men, they can be overlooked for what may be ideal approaches to reduce crime and recidivism … The toolkit provides suggestions for innovative and focused interventions targeting the special risks and needs of women in the justice system. It provides an overview of risk and needs assessments, case management approaches, principles, strategies and programs that take into account the needs of women (gender-responsive). There are recommendations for creating community-based options for women and 10 key steps for working toward sustainable reductions in the number of women in county jails and the creation of gender-responsive community justice systems" (p. 1). Sections included in this report are: introduction; historical criminal justice and public health reforms bring new opportunities, funding crucial components; principles and six strategies for effective planning, policies, and practices; best practices and programs for eight topical areas; key steps to a gender-responsive community justice system; and conclusion.
While the use of evidence-based practice (EBP) is being used by more and more correctional systems, EBP tend to primarily address the needs of men. Issues specific to females are often overlooked. This void can be filled with gender-specific programming and services. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a great resource for information about gender-responsive topics. This article provides a glimpse at the various things NIC offers. Some of these assets are technical assistance, training programs, the Gender-Responsive Bulletin and additional material, and models of practice which can improve operational outcomes.
This report is necessary reading for anyone working with or concerned about girls who are incarcerated in adult correctional facilities. "Adult jails and prisons are not designed for the confinement of youth, and as a result most are not equipped to meet the inherent and specific needs of adolescents. Studies show that youth in adult confinement do not receive age-appropriate educational, medical, or rehabilitative services. They are subject to conditions that are developmentally inappropriate and physically and emotionally unsafe; these conditions run counter to rehabilitative goals. In addition, a growing body of research shows that youth confined in adult facilities are exposed to seasoned offenders and, as compared to youth who are placed in juvenile facilities, are more likely to recidivate with more severe crimes upon release … This bulletin focuses on the population of girls under age 18 who are confined to adult facilities in the United States. It provides a summary of current research, incorporates the voices of practitioners, and offers recommendations for improving conditions and outcomes for girls who are sentenced to adult facilities" (p. 1-2). Sections of this publication cover: mechanisms that move girls into adult courts; profile of justice-involved girls; challenges to providing adequate programming and services; challenges to keeping girls safe; staffing challenges; and concluding remarks and six recommendations. An appendix provides results from a National Institute of Corrections /National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NIC/NCCD) Survey of Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) regarding issues and challenges that adult facilities deal with related to youth under the age of 18, particularly girls.
“The outcome evaluation [for the Women Offender Case Management Model (WOCMM) implemented in Connecticut probation] focuses on determining whether participation in the project reduces future involvement in the criminal justice system as measured by recidivism over a fixed length follow-up period. The outcome evaluation employs a comparison group to determine if participants have more positive outcomes than a group of women with similar characteristics who were not exposed to the model” (p. 1). Recidivism rates are provided for WOCMM participants and the retrospective comparison matched sample for misdemeanor arrest, misdemeanor arrest with conviction, felony arrest, felony arrest with conviction, any arrest, any arrest with conviction, and any negative outcome (including arrests as well as absconding and technical violations). It appears that WOCMM offers a positive gender-responsive impact resulting in lower recidivism rates for project participants.
This report "[e]xamines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense. It provides estimates on the number and types of crimes former inmates commit both prior to their imprisonment and after release. The report includes different measures of recidivism, including a new arrest, court adjudication, conviction, and incarceration for either a new sentence or a technical violation. It also documents the extent to which the released prisoners committed crimes in states other than the one that released them." Highlights include: about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years; a sixth (16.1%) of released prisoners were responsible for almost half (48.4%) of the nearly 1.2 million arrests that occurred in the 5-year follow-up period; and about 10.9% of released prisoners were arrested in a state other than the one that released them during the 5-year follow-up period.
<p>The development and implementation of the Cook County Sheriff's Department of Women's Justice Services (DWJS) is discussed. This bulletin is comprised of these sections: introduction; background; the decisionmaking process; decision point mapping example -- custody/release; creating the DWJS; gender-responsive innovations; meeting the healthcare needs of women offenders in Cook County; and challenges and accomplishments.</p>
The use of gender-responsive strategies with women involved in the community corrections system is explained. Sections comprising this report are: what community corrections is; what gender-responsiveness for women offenders in community corrections is; definition of gender-responsiveness for women in the criminal justice system; summary of gender-responsive research; characteristics of women offenders in the criminal justice system (e.g., types of offenses, substance abuse, health, children and marital status, education and employment, and victimization and trauma); theoretical perspectives on womens criminal behavior -- pathways theory, relational theory, trauma theory, and addiction theory; comprehensive treatment model for issues critical to women; guiding principles for implementing gender-responsive strategies for women offenders; the three Rs for case planning; essential services of comprehensive treatment programs for women offenders; challenges in implementing gender-responsive strategies; overcoming challenges; and community corrections responsibility to women offenders.
The use of systemic criminal justice planning by Hamilton County (OH) to improve services and programming for women offenders is reviewed. This bulletin is comprised of the following sections: introduction; the systemic planning process; members of the Intermediate Sanctions for Women Offenders Policy Team; steps in the collaborative systemic planning process (chart); how decision mapping works; sample findings and results; the Alternative Interventions for Women (AIW) Treatment Program; and lessons learned. AIW graduates have a 13% new criminal conviction rate and a 6% probation violation resulting in jail time rate.
“This document reviews ten truths about justice involved women—gleaned from the research over the last few decades —that must be recognized if we are to successfully manage this population, achieve greater reductions in recidivism, and improve public safety outcomes. It is our hope that by understanding these truths, criminal justice policymakers and practitioners will be more aware of gender differences and take steps to enhance their approaches to managing justice involved women” (p. iii). Some of these truths are: women are a fast-growing criminal justice population, yet they pose a lower public safety risk than men; traditional criminal justice policies and practices have largely been developed through the lens of managing men, not women; gender responsive assessment tools can enhance case management efforts with justice involved women; women are more likely to respond favorably when criminal justice staff adhere to evidence-based, gender responsive principles; and the costs of overly involving women in the criminal justice system are high.
Current research about women offenders and strategies for evaluating current operating procedures related to women offenders are covered. Sections of this bulletin include: introduction; women in jail -- their numbers and characteristics; the Gender-Responsive Strategies project -- approach and findings; six gender-responsive guiding principles -- implications for jail administrators; jail classification and gender-responsive strategies for implementation in a jail setting; challenges and how to overcome them; parity and equity in programming; next steps; improving jail operations -- how jail administrators benefit from considering gender-responsive strategies; Maximizing Opportunities for Mothers to Succeed (MOMS): Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Oakland, California; and conclusion.