When the criminal justice system was established, the main objective was to create neutrality and fairness between the sexes. Even though people might believe that there is no such thing as ‘stereotyping’ in the criminal justice system, it is quite obvious that women are constantly being look down upon because of their sex. In general, women tend to be treated like fragile objects that could break at any moment; the truth is that women can be strong and courageous just like men. Society stereotypes women and the criminal justice system is no different.
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.
As evidenced by prior research, more studies must be done on this unique population in order to determine the best intervention for treating incarcerating women with mental illness and decreasing rates of recidivism. This issue is relevant to the values, ethics and responsibilities of the social work profession because this oppressed and vulnerable population is in need of advocacy and gender-specific mental health treatment.
Women offenders are different from male offenders in many ways. Whether it be from the way women develop differently in the psychological aspect, or the services that are available specifically for them. Female offenders are more likely to be convicted of a drug or drug related crime, they are more likely to have a past with significant substance abuse, have a childhood or recent adult life that was abusive both physically and sexually, and female offenders are more likely to participate in group therapy because they are trying to gain the connectedness and sense of belong that they crave for in their life. Although there is significant proof showing that female offenders have problems that need treatment while incarcerated before going
& Bender, K. (2009). Effects of correction-based programs for female inmates: a systematic review. Research on Social Work Practice, 21(1), 15-31. doi: 10.1177/1049731509352337
Very little work has focused on studying recidivism by offenders after punishment and how prevention measures may improve recidivism rates and affect cooperation. “National recidivism rates are at an estimated amount of 73% and of the whole jail population 42.5% are women” (Berenji, 2014, p.131). As you can see about half of the inhabitants of the jails are women; so recidivism is an ongoing issue that needs to be solved. Recidivism is a growing distress in the U.S today, not only with men but women as well. Not many studies have been steered towards women reverting back to crime as there are men, but it is a concern. It is impossible to make this issue disappear fully, but with fundamental changes the
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
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
There have been many changes in the treatment of offenders by the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales, particularly the treatment of female offenders. The handling of women within the criminal justice system has been closely tied to their social characteristics, and to what might be described as their ‘social construction’. On the other hand, women who compromise more than half of the world’s population, account for only 15% of criminal activity and as a consequence, relatively little attention has been given to them. This essay will explore how this has changed from a historical point of view to modern times, with exploration from cross-culture comparisons and an overview of the treatments of females in prisons.
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?
Research has identified that prison based substance abuse treatment for offenders differs greatly for males and females. Female offenders tend to have numerous triggers for their substance abuse with the research showing female offenders being significantly disadvantaged compared with male offenders when entering treatment programs (Messina, Grella, Cartier, & Torres, 2010). The following essay will summarise research conducted on the topic of substance abuse treatments for incarcerated females, looking at the research conducted by Messina et al. (2010), and how this research fits in with the available literature, and the contribution it has made to the field of research on the topic.
The media today, is highly selective in their constructions of offences, offenders and victims. Media representations of crime are moulded and women are portrayed in a way that is entertainment driven and is appealing to the audience. Despite the fact that women seldom stalk, murder outsiders or commit sequential murders- in fact they are rarely vehement, “accounting for only ten percent of convicted violent offenders- those who do so are highly newsworthy because of their novelty” (Jewkes 2011, p. 123) Present day media admits that because fierce women are comparatively uncommon, they are all the more appealing and diabolical to the audience as a result. The essay shall discuss the reason and presentation in the media of female offenders, female victims and women specific crimes.
A Program offer for inmates is the Second Chance Program, which is offer at Alvin S Glenn Detention Center. Second chance programs offer intimates and ex-convicted felons, both genders (males and females), the opportunity to reevaluate their problems and learn from prior mistakes. This approach opens many doors and avenues to conquering new beginnings for inmates. However, majority of intimates are not aware of these programs. From volunteering at Alvin’s S. Glen Detention Center, learning that the program offers intimates the sole possibility to rebuild inmate’s lives. Problem that occurs is many intimate do not take the opportunity to use these programs.
Statistics show that the number of female offenders in the legal system has been increasing steadily. The number of female offenders entering the American justice system is growing at a rate faster than males. Statistics from the United States in 2010 show the female offender population to be increasing by 2.7% each year, compared to the male population at a rate of 1.8% each year, with similar statistics being seen in other Western countries (West & Sabol, 2010). The continued increase has made understanding female offenders and their catalysts for committing crime more imperative.
Most of the theories of crime was developed to explain male crimes by male criminologists. For decades, women offending challenges traditional theoretical explanations of crime, which were developed to explain male offenders. There were a few debates that indicate the concern of whether the theories were being used equally to explain both female and male crime. Criminologists came to a conclusion that the traditional theories are male-specific theories. For that particular reason, they argue that those theories are not suitable to explain female crimes. However, both the social process and traditional structure theories explain a gender neutrality in crime. They also give a better understanding for both male and female crime.