Gender Specific Program for Women

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Criminology

Document 1

Although there are fewer female offenders compared to male offender in the justice system, the women who enter the justice system are often arrested again in the future for the same or related crime. This has necessitated the development and genders specific programs focused at the needs specific to women. This paper discusses one such program which focuses on women. Gender specific program for women The gender specific program is focused on women with the aim of reducing the rate of incarceration and delinquency among women. To be able to influence its objectives effectively, the program is based on the characteristics of women offenders who are likely to be end up being involved with the justice system. Therefore, in addition to focusing specifically on women, the program is also interested in specific characteristics which make women likely to end up involving themselves in crime. Target population characteristics Several characteristics have been shown to increase the risk of being involved in crime and consequently ending up being arrested among women. These factors have also been associated with high rate of incarceration. These factors include involvement in alcohol and substance abuse, poverty and lack of technical skills, history of physical and sexual abuse, single motherhood, and psychiatric disorders. Alcohol and other substances abuse has always been a major problem among women who are involved in crime despite being arrested or not. A study by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in 2013 showed that “up to 80% of the women offenders in some state prison systems now have severe, long-standing substance abuse problems” (CSAT, p.

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Sixty percent of female offenders on federal prisons, twenty percent in sate facilities, and twenty-two percent in local jails have been involved with serious drug abuse problems. Although there is a clear relationship between drug abuse and women who have been involved with crime, there is minimal treatment offered to female inmates related to substance abuse. The gender specific program is focused and addressing the needs of such women. Poverty, ethnicity, and lack of skills also contribute significantly to incarceration among women. Most of the female offenders who have been charged and imprisoned in the various correctional facilities in the United States are unskilled, poor and undereducated. Furthermore, there is a major disparity in involvement in crime along racial lines where women of color are more likely to be involved in crime compared to other races.

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Over fifty percent of women in prisons in the United States are unemployed, more than a third are not involved in active search for employment opportunities, and most of the women who were employed before being incarcerated were in the lower ranks in the economic ladder (Chesney, p. The gender specific program for women aims at alleviating poverty as a strategy towards decreasing the rate of incarceration among women. Motherhood is a common characteristic among incarcerated female offenders in the United States. Moreover, there is need to encourage the women to make healthy life choices. The gender specific program for women will achieve this objective by providing relevant information to incarcerated women bearing the above characteristics. The program is also focused at reducing the rate of incarceration among women with the above characteristics by influencing their economic status and position in the social class.

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Most of these women lack basic education and technical skills which are a requisite in most formal and informal employment. Therefore, the women end up unemployed and unable to look for employment opportunities with the lack of academic credentials. The program is likely to become effective in reducing the rate of incarceration among women because it is focused at addressing the major risk factors related to incarceration among women. Furthermore, the program is focused at distracting the predisposition to criminal activities among women by providing healthier and less risky behavior. The possible challenges the program could face is the unwillingness of the incarcerated women to follow the program in adopting new behaviors or cutting unhealthy relationship which put them at a higher risk of being involved in crime. Moreover, it may be difficult to measure the overall influence of the different activities carried out in the program especially at the community level.

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Finally, some of the women who have been incarcerated may not be affected directly by educational programs aimed at alleviating their poverty levels because of their advanced age. Substance abuse treatment for incarcerated offenders: Guide to promising practices. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, draft. Chesney-Lind, Meda, and Lisa Pasko.  The female offender: Girls, women, and crime. Sage, 2013: 37-39 Kaeble, Danielle, et al.

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