Female Perpetrators: Risks, Needs, and Pathways to Offending

  • Michelle N. JeanisEmail author
  • Sarah A. Smith


The purpose of this chapter is to examine the risks, needs, and pathways of offending for female offenders. The factors associated with the causes of criminal behavior have been studied copiously; however, much of the research has focused only on the characteristics and experiences of men. It is only within the last few decades that research has begun to shift focus to the causes and correlates of female offending. The dominant empirically relevant risk factors for offending and recidivism are overviewed, along with the pathways that shape offending trajectories for women. A special focus on victimization and the role of the victim-offender overlap in the offending patterns of women are examined. In addition, theoretical perspectives, both traditional and gender-based are examined as to their empirical utility for explaining the offending behavior of women in the USA.


Female offenders Risk factors Gender-specific Victim-offender overlap Family violence Gender pathways Intimate partner violence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayetteUSA

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