Messina and Grella (2007) found that greater exposure to childhood trauma contributes to a higher prevalence of mental illness within the population of incarcerated women. Not only does the lack of mental health treatment in correctional facilities affect incarcerated women, there are also long term consequences to community health and recidivism rates (Messina & Grella, 2007).
For numerous years, prison officials applied the same type of treatment for men and women. In the last decade with the increasing number of women incarcerated, research shows that women have different physical and emotional needs. For example, women are more attached to their children that they are leaving behind, and some have histories of physical and mental abuse. The creation of two programs, Key Crest and Forever Free were created to help with women specific issues. Recent studies done by National Institute of Justice studies found that participants in these two programs stayed drug and arrest free for over three years. Participants were tested and interviewed once a year for three years. The studies also showed that the programs provided aftercare and treatment in areas that were not addressed in previous years. Even though both varied in their approach, they both recognized the many ways there were to treat the needs of women and how they differ from men. The studies also show that gender specific programs do help inmates reenter into society.
In many countries, the female prison population has increased dramatically over the last years. This has generated widespread awareness in our society, leading people to question why the percentage multiplied exponentially. In the past, female offenders have not only been compared to their male counterparts, but to society’s view of the role of women; this role categorized them as housewives and mothers. But how did these housewives and mothers go from the home to the prisons? In most countries, women represent a minority of the prison population: normally between 2% and 8%. There are now more than 600,000 women behind bars and more than one million on probation and parole, (Bastick and Townhead 2008) most of these women are sentenced to prison for non-violent crimes. Many of these women in prison struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, and histories of physical and sexual abuse. According to the researchers Bastick and Townhead, all over the world women in prison suffer from intersecting
In the past thirty years, the incarceration of women has risen exponentially. Poverty, lack of access to education, abuse, addiction, mental health and parenting issues all impact women’s criminality and health before, during and after they are incarcerated (Hannaher, K., 2007). By 2010 there were nearly 206,000 women currently serving time in the criminal justice system. As the years go by, the numbers are constantly increasing (Women Behind Bars, 2015). The number of pregnant women incarcerated has also been on the rise. Most incarcerated women do not receive proper prenatal care before entering the criminal justice system. Because these women are from mostly poverty neighborhoods, they are more likely to endure domestic violence, poor
Gender plays a big role in whether or not the juvenile offenders get the treatment they need. Often female offenders are misunderstood or not taken seriously because they are stereotyped as criers, liars, and manipulators. If and when these girls do get treatment for mental health care, often it is not the correct one. In the Gaarder, Rodriguez, and Zats (2004) article
It is no secret that the United States’ criminal justice system is majorly flawed in more ways than one. We hear of all of the injustice that many civilians face on a day to day basis, which mostly surrounds the problems related to men, but what about women? Why don’t we hear about the tribulations and sufferings that our women undergo on a day to day basis within our criminal justice system? As mentioned in an article from the American Jail Association, investigation in fields ranging from subjects of general and mental health, substance abuse and addiction relating to drugs and prescriptions, and physical violence against women combined with examination and practice in the criminal justice field, have discovered that women offenders experience challenges that are not only different from their male counterparts, but also greatly influence their involvement in criminal justice systems, including jails and prisons (Ney, 2014). This information alone provides a basis to why imprisoned women should be more of a topic. This literature review will examine the several ways in which women who are incarcerated experience emotional trauma; and in some ways, abuse. My hypothesis is that most of the trauma encountered by incarcerated women majorly branches from preceding events and occurrences that happened prior to becoming imprisoned, and that they worsen as a result of improper treatment and resources within
Throughout history, the criminal justice system has mainly focused on men entering the criminal justice system rather than women. This is not portrayed largely by the media and society because it is not truly considered a highlight topic. Men and women face incarceration on a daily basis, causing them both to have different experiences based on their gender. The crimes and punishment faced by each gender is different and can affect the way society views the person as an individual and/or as a group. The nature and role in society can be a factor of the incarceration and the experience they may face while in the criminal justice system. Although the depiction of men entering the criminal justice system is portrayed regularly, the rate of women entering the criminal justice system has faced a higher increase than men entering the system.
Incarceration has been a pending issue amongst western civilization’s history for some time and today continues to raise a wide range of important questions. Incarceration of individuals have become a tremendous tax payer concern along with the incarceration of the drug war, convictions of street gangs, and the rest of the individuals who have broken the law and harmed other innocent individuals. However, the question is always a concern of men incarceration and hardly addressed of women being incarcerated. Not to say that what men can do women can do better, but studies have shown a drastic increase in women becoming incarcerated throughout a range of years. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures research on Children Of Incarcerated Parents by Steve Christian, a study by national survey had reported in August 2008, that during that time, the number of children with a mother in prison increased by 131 percent, from 63,900 to 147,400 (Christian, 2009). Society has always drawn its focus on convicts constantly trying to pin a wrong on an individual’s plate of life, but has never become curious to ask why an individual has become incarcerated and whom it has affected. The drastic increase of women becoming incarcerated have come from numerous of backgrounds in which their choices have led to affect their children as well as their children’s development and in addition affected their own development.
The growing rate of women in prison has spawned widespread awareness in our society; leading people to question why the percentage multiplied exponentially over the past three decades. In the past, female offenders have not only been compared to their male counterparts, but to society’s view on the role of women; the roles that labeled them as housewives and mothers. But how did these housewives and mothers go from the home to the prisons? The subject of women’s issues has sporadically been discussed in our society, and it has just recently being uncovered that women operate differently than men in situations; and those differences are now starting to effect the growth rate in the population of women in
From 1973 to 2000 the imprisonment rate in the U.S has increased by a multiple of four, while the actual crime rate saw no such increase over that period. (Visher and Travis, 2003, p. 89-90) Historically, the prison system in America had always been marred with inadequacies and failures, specifically in rehabilitating prisoners. The significant increase in incarceration rates have put an even greater burden on the already inefficient prison system. In reality, the prison system does not actually function as a means of rehabilitating prisoners, and real purpose of the institute is to basically keep the “deplorables” of society away from the public eye. It serves as a tool to degrade members of society to the bottom of the social ladder and strip them of their most basic rights. For many prisoners, rehabilitation comes in the form of “corrections” which is largely characterized by the humiliation, abuse, and subjugation of inmates by correction officers. This form of rehabilitation is largely malicious and ineffective in its procedures and outcomes. Often times inmates, leave prison more emotionally and physically damaged that they were upon entrance as a consequence of the dismal conditions they were subjugated to. The current high rates of recidivism have testified to the fact that our prisons have failed as a deterrent. As a result, it must be
Due to the vast amount of women who encounter mental health and substance abuse related problems, it is something that should be considered and looked at more seriously. Mignon (2016) indicated that failing to address these issues of neglecting mental health and substance abuse afflictions of imprisoned women will result in the problems continuing following their release and could have disadvantageous effects on their lives such as joblessness, homelessness, and the potential for loss of custody of children. Priority in health for women in prisons are usually dependent on their sentencing, as in if a woman is given a life sentence, her health needs aren’t necessarily a priority in comparison to women with shorter and lesser sentences. Mignon (2016) discovered that substance abuse is a serious issue for women in correctional facilities, and that even though trauma and addition are intertwined, they are usually treated as separate complications. Mignon (2016) also mentioned that poor health and mental health services should be of special concern when it comes to elderly women in prison.
It has already been established that the prison population for female offenders is growing, but the complexity of the population is changing as well. Special populations make up the group of female offenders, specifically including middle-aged inmates, physically ill inmates, and of course mentally ill inmates (Lewis, 200). The pathology of these women vary, many struggle or previously struggled with substance abuse, psychosis,
After visiting www.womenandprison.org a website created by incarcerated women, I learn the ins and outs of what are some of the leading factors for women and prisons now. Most of the women interviewed have a brutal past with drug addiction, prostitution or abuse. These are the main reasons women today still are being incarcerated. However gender experience in prison expressed by women is very painful. Unlike men women suffer from the state of mind where they are home sick. Those who tend to have made families back home it begins to be tougher for women to be separate from her child. Also it is said to be all mind games a lot of women loose a sense of social control where they are no longer accepting to the reasoning which has brought them to
Women with substance abuse issues tend to pose unique differences when compared to their male counterparts. They are more likely to exhibit PTSD. This is especially true for those women who have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse with high rates of repeated trauma (Najavits et al, 1997).
It is important to analyze the differences between men and women in terms of treatment approaches and types of offenses. As seen in most psychotherapy theories, men primarily develop the techniques with little insight from a female perspective, this factor carries over to the use of cognitive behavioral therapy and is seen in the prison setting. The orientation of therapeutic programs within a prison are directed more toward men with little adaptations to differences and needs seen in women offenders (Sacks, McKendrick & Hamilton, 2012). This presents as an issue primarily because men and women are often associated with different crimes and different mental disorders. It would makes sense then to tailor therapeutic techniques to the clients gender and offenses.