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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78477 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Who Are the Women in Prison? (From Women in Corrections, P 51-56, 1981 - See NCJ-78474)
Author(s): C Ginsberg
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article confronts some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding female criminality and contends that these, coupled with a predominantly male prison/parole administration, have resulted in a complete lack of programs or inappropriate programs for women in prisons.
Abstract: Most female prisoners are petty criminals who do not correspond to the sensationalized, violent images of female criminality such as the legendary Lizzie Borden or Patty Hearst, neither of whom was in need of programmed institutional services. The most prevalent female offender is a young black woman who is poor, unskilled, uneducated, and head of a household. Most of these women are charged with property crimes -- retail theft, passing worthless checks, forgery, fraudulent use of credit cards, and occasionally embezzlement. A somewhat smaller number are charged with drug crimes and prostitution. Most women imprisoned for homicide or manslaughter have killed abusive husbands or paramours. Involvement with child abuse is also frequently found to stem from fear of an abusive male in the household. The smallest number of female offenders commit these violent crimes. The common denominator of most female offenders is their dependence. It is the mission of counseling programs for these clients to help them become strong, able to make their own decisions, to like themselves, and to be aware of their own potential. Women suffer more intensely from incarceration than most men; they are concerned and guilty about their dependents and are not socialized to cope with the lack of privacy in jails and prisons. A successful institutional program should be run in a community treatment center where children can be with their mothers; where community resources are accessible for training, counseling, and drug treatment; and where learning to be good parents can take place. Prerelease and vocational counseling, job and training placement, housing assistance, parenting guidance, and supportive services are the recommended features of a community program for women offenders. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional facilities; Corrections effectiveness; Failure factors; Female offenders; Sex discrimination
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