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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200496 Find in a Library
Title: Women Offenders, Drug Addiction, and Crime (From Readings for Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice, P 61-73, 1999, M.L. Dantzker, ed., -- See NCJ-200493)
Author(s): Dennis J. Stevens
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth-Heinemann
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
Sale Source: Butterworth-Heinemann
225 Wildwood Ave
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the relationship between drug addiction and criminal activity among incarcerated women in a drug rehabilitation program.
Abstract: It is believed that drug addiction is related to criminality among women but this belief is unsupported by research. This study examined the relationship between drug addiction and crime among 68 women incarcerated at a high custody penitentiary in North Carolina. Women that had received treatment from a drug and alcohol recovery treatment program were surveyed. This survey included demographic questions about the participants and inquired about early criminal activities, frequency of criminal activities, and age of the participants at the time of those activities. It also inquired about early drug experiences, frequency of drug use, as well as ages at the time of those experiences. Data collection was followed by keyed-in computer grid entries and numerous statistical tests to determine the relationship of the variables. Frequency tests, Chi Square, and T tests were used to help understand the data. Results show that the hypothesis that drug addiction gives rise to criminality among women was unsupported by the data. Female offenders lived lifestyles comparable to that of career criminals prior to drug addiction experiences and prior to their first arrest followed by prosecution. Most female offenders are discovered or apprehended early in their criminal careers, but are rarely arrested. If they are arrested, they are rarely prosecuted. Based on the findings, some of the policies that should be considered regarding repeat juvenile offenders, especially females, are: (1) giving law enforcement agencies more local control over juvenile enforcement procedures; (2) pursuing zero-tolerance policy; (3) youth service agencies providing custody and mandatory work; and (4) prosecutors and courts bringing charges and rendering justice. A longitudinal study should be implemented examining the relationship between the early prosecution and future criminal activities of females. 5 tables, 37 references, 12 endnotes
Main Term(s): Drug dependence; Female offenders
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Crime prediction; Drug abuse; Female inmates; Females; Male female offender comparisons; Offenders
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