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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 197008 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and Criminality: Results From the Texas Women Inmates Study
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:2002  Pages:69-96
Author(s): Janet L. Mullings; Joycelyn Pollock; Ben M. Crouch
Editor(s): Donna C. Hale
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined differences between Texas female inmates with self-reported drug problems and those without drug problems.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of female offenders involved at every stage of the criminal justice process. In addition, women are increasingly more likely to be incarcerated for drug offenses. In knowing this, it becomes important to understand the impact that substance abuse has on female offenders and the correctional environment. This study examined self-reported data collected from a large sample of 1,298 women at admission to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division in 1999-2000. The study provides important information regarding the patterns of offending, drug use, victimization, and mental health issues among these incarcerated women. It examined: (1) relationships between early childhood experiences and adult drug abuse; (2) relationships between offending patterns and adult drug abuse; (3) substance abuse and adult victimization histories; and (4) differences in mental health problems and treatment needs between drug abusing and non-drug abusing females. The Texas study was consistent with other studies reported in the literature review with regard to the profile of female prisoners and the association between drug abuse and victimization. The majority of women were sentenced for drug or property crimes suggesting the non-violent nature of offending among female inmates. This suggests that women would benefit from community-based correction programs. However, there is the need for policy makers to be aware of structural barriers, such as racism, sexism, and poverty. These barriers can inhibit women and create conditions where they turn to drugs. A recommendation suggests the profiling of female inmates across the country and the results shared with policy makers. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Female offenders
Index Term(s): Abused women; Drug offender profiles; Drug offenders; Female inmates; Female victims; Females; Property crimes; Texas
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