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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98280 Find in a Library
Title: Changing Character of Female Offenders in the United States (From Women in the Prison Sytem - Proceedings, P 87-112, 1984, Suzanne Hatty, ed. - See NCJ-98278)
Author(s): R C Sarri
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This examination of the changing character of female offenders in the United States focuses on the nature and incidence of crimes as well as changes in the criminal justice system in response to female offenders.
Abstract: Court processing, sentencing, and incarcerations are examined from a gender perspective. It has been found that throughout the United States correctional populations are disproportionately nonwhite and under the age of 30. Surveys of offenders indicate that the vast majority of adults have committed one or more misdemeanors or felonies, but the prevalence and frequency of crime is far less for females than males. Only in the case of larceny, drug use and abuse, forgery, fraud, and sex crimes do females commit with equal frequency. In a longitudinal study of female criminal behavior conducted in 1979, it was concluded that for violent crime the female profile was similar to that in 1960. However, it was observed that there had been increases in larceny, fraud, forgery, vagrancy, and disorderly conduct. Prostitution and promiscuity are behaviors for which women are almost exclusively prosecuted today. It has been concluded that female crime continues to be attributed to female sex roles, whereas male crime is usually attributed to social structure. Many research findings have pointed out substantial differences in court processing of males and females. Large differences exist in treatment in plea bargaining, in rates of guilty pleas, and in sentence bargaining. However, the most serious problems exist in jails, prison reformatories, lockups, and other residential facilities. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Female crime patterns; Female inmates; Penology; Women's correctional institutions
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