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Female Prisoners and the Case for Gender-Specific Treatment and Reentry Programs

  • Andrea F. Balis

The rapidly rising prison, jail, and probation population is clearly a concern for the entire criminal justice system, but this is especially true in the case of female prisoners. Arrests over the last 20 years have increased for the general population, but the increase is significantly larger among females. A 1998 Justice Department study reported that since 1990 the female adult jail population grew 7.0% while the male adult jail population grew 4.5% during the same time period (BJS, 1999b). Between midyear 2004 and midyear 2005 the number of women under the jurisdiction of the state and federal prison systems grew by 3.4% while the number of men grew by 1.3% (BJS, 2006) Despite these significant changes in the incarcerated population, there has not been a commensurate increase in research devoted to the needs of these women, nor in designing discharge and reentry programs specifically for female prisoners. As concern over this growing population within the criminal justice system has increased, it has become clear that there need to be different institutional practices, treatment programs, and systems of discharge planning. Because of less research on women than men, there is still little specific information on the effectiveness of rehabilitation and reentry programs for women. Without addressing these issues, it is unlikely that there will be significant reductions in recidivism statistics. In addition, if these numbers keep on increasing, whole communities, especially children, will suffer from the loss of these women.

Keywords

Criminal Justice System Substance Abuse Treatment Justice Statistics Female Offender Female Prisoner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea F. Balis
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeThe City University of New YorkDobbs FerryUSA

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