Female Drug Offenders: A Quantitative Analysis of Recidivism

Monica Solinas, University of Pittsburgh

This research focuses upon the lives of women inmates and whether female prisoners' recidivism differs by demographic charcteristics, personal background and pre-prison experiences. The gender entrapment model shows that abuse, lack of education, motherhood, and unemployment are strong predictors of female inmates' recidivism. However, this explorative work shows that dependence to illegal substances is the most significant variable in the analysis of female inmates' recidivism. Multivariate statistical analysis of the data set "Survey of Inmates of U.S. Federal and State Correctional Facilities, 1997" shows that female inmates who suffer from heroin drug addictio are those with highest level of recidivism. The aim of this research is to explain how women pre-prison experiences and personal backgrounds shape female inmates' pathways to prison and recidivism. This might suggest that a large group of women who are incarcerated need treatments more than punishments. By comparing their lives before incarceration these papers aim to suggest that most often women's pathways to prison show that women are marginalized in our societies and that incarceration is often the result of their marginalization.

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Updated 05/20/2006