Improving Outcomes for Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System

By Buell, Maureen | Corrections Today, October 2006 | Go to article overview

Improving Outcomes for Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System


Buell, Maureen, Corrections Today


The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has maintained an interest in improving outcomes for female offenders almost since its inception in 1974. During the past three decades, NIC has broadened its focus on women involved in the criminal justice system to meet an increasing demand for information and assistance relative to working with this population.

Women in the Criminal Justice System

In 1971, the U.S. attorney general convened an array of corrections professionals and experts at the National Conference on Corrections in Williamsburg, Va., to develop recommendations for prison reform. (1) Among the discussion papers presented was, "The Special Problems of Female Offenders," by Edith Elisabeth Flynn, Ph.D., then associate director for the National Clearinghouse for Criminal Justice Planning and Architecture at the University of Illinois.

During her presentation, Flynn brought to light the statistical data, patterns of criminality, theory and practices in sentencing and incarcerating female offenders up to that time, which had not been part of the report released by President Lyndon Johnson's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice in 1968, a blue ribbon panel that looks at crime problems in the nation. Among Flynn's recommendations specific to addressing the female offender population were:

* Disposition and treatment based on individual needs;

* Equal opportunities for vocational training;

* Diversion programs to address addictions;

* Increased use of pretrial diversionary interventions and enhanced services for preadjudicated individuals;

* Maximized use of alternatives to incarceration for eligible offenders;

* Restoration of family and community ties and increased use of community-based corrections;

* Reduction of the traditional lines drawn between institutions and the community;

* Replication of normative institutional environments; and

* Racially representative staff.

A quick review of this list is not unlike looking at the components of today's transition and/or reentry models for offenders released to the community. However, overshadowing the changing criminal justice landscapes has been the dramatic rise in women's involvement with the criminal justice system. Between 1977 and 2004, the rate of female imprisonment increased 757 percent, versus 388 percent in the male prison population. (2) With the marked increase in female imprisonment and the attention to transition and reentry and significant issues impacting criminal justice in general, criminal justice professionals must aggressively pursue the relevant qualitative and quantitative research specific to women involved in the criminal justice system. Moreover, designing interventions to improve the outcomes for female offenders must now be even more deliberate, focusing on improved outcomes if the criminal justice system is to effectively manage this population.

An Evidence-Based Foundation

Since the mid-1970s, NIC's services and products have reflected much of what was recommended by Flynn at the National Conference on Corrections in 1971. With the emergence of evidence-based practices and gender-responsive principles in the field of corrections, NIC can also contribute to what Flynn stated in her closing comments, "In view of the great dearth of statistical information on women offenders in specific and the almost total absence of data on women in society in general, it is recommended that such information be obtained with deliberate speed, with particular attention paid to the role of woman in contemporary society." (3)

The fields of medicine and education have long histories of using evidence-based practices to shape and improve outcomes. Accepting evidence-based practices within the culture of criminal justice has reassured some practitioners and created a level of uncertainty for others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Improving Outcomes for Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.