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NCJ Number: 93318 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Profile of the Incarcerated Black Female Offender
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:63  Issue:2  Dated:(Autumn/Winter 1983)  Pages:80-87
Author(s): L French
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study reviews the research literature on black female delinquents (self-report studies, black female gangs, type of offenses committed, and the experiences of black female youth in correctional institutions) and adult black female offenders (overrepresentation of minority women in the criminal justice process, types of offenses black women commit, and the incarcerated black female).
Abstract: Black youth are more likely than white youth to report participation in certain crimes, especially those tied to group behavior, and Klein's (1965) findings in a study of black female delinquent gangs in Los Angeles found that black female gangs are less long-lived than male gangs, and the 'sister' gangs are usually affiliated with the male black gangs. Regarding types of offenses committed by black female youth, a number of studies found that blacks are less sexually differentiated than whites with respect to violent offenses; however, blacks are more sexually differentiated with regard to property offenses. Studies of incarcerated black delinquent girls indicate that black female youth hold higher social status than whites among inmates,and they are more likely to engage in pseudo-masculine roles. The stereotype of 'toughness' is most often attributed to the black female inmate such that this has become the role model and anticipated behavioral pattern for black females. The research literature indicates that black female adult offenders and defendants are disproportionately present in all stages of criminal justice processing. Von Hentig (1942) posits that race is not a factor in itself in this overrepresentation, but rather it can be attributed to social influences in the group and societal reaction to blacks. Regarding the type of offense committed by black women, there is no substantial evidence that black females are any more criminally prone than other females, but black females appear to be more severely treated within the criminal justice system than are non-black females. Female black inmates tend to be younger than white females inmates, have less education, and are more subject to sexual exploitation by correctional employees. Black female inmates also tend to be more recidivistic. More research on the black female offender is needed, particularly regarding such factors as socioeconomic status, education, prior criminal record, marital status, occupation, and age. Research is also needed in the areas of drug abuse and selective discrimination by criminal justice officials in arrest, charging, and conviction. Twenty-nine references are listed.
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Female offenders; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Offender profiles; Racial discrimination
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