Prison : Recidivism And Reentry

3158 Words Mar 3rd, 2015 13 Pages
Women in Prison: Recidivism and Reentry The study of recidivism amongst women in prison is important because most research focuses on the male population. The reasons for the “revolving door” phenomenon are different for women; therefore, their treatment should be more gender focused and specific to their needs. Judging by the rates at which women recidivate, you could assume that somewhere along the way the system has failed them. What role does drug use, motherhood, mental health, physical, sexual, and mental abuse play in the recidivism of female inmates? According to Stuart and Brice-Baker (2004), drugs have been one of the major culprits leading to incarceration and repeat criminal offenses among women in recent years. Drug …show more content…
According to Congress.gov, the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 (S.1410), which adjusts federal mandatory sentencing, was introduced on July 31, 2013, but it has not been enacted (n.d.). The first step to solving the problem of incarcerating women for drug offenses is to enact this law so each situation can be judged on a case by case basis. Drug addiction does not directly lead to incarceration because law enforcement views drug use as a victimless crime (Stuart & Brice-Baker, 2004), but it indirectly leads to incarceration due to the behaviors that accompany the drug habit. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2004), 18% of their sample of female convicts, not serving time for drug charges, said their instant offense was committed in order to get money for drugs. These findings show the impact of drug addiction on other criminal behavior. The authors report that, due to the lack of rehabilitative services or treatment, the recidivism rates of female prisoners remain high. “Women who are chronic drug users and are imprisoned due to drug-related parole violations often receive relatively light sentences during which slots in the addiction services program, they so obviously need, are not available to them” (Stuart & Brice-Baker, 2004, p.46). Since their sentences tend to be short, their release
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