Substance Use Disorders
JACKIE BUTLER AND KISHA BRAITHWAITE
Female offenders are an increasingly large proportion of the incarcerated population, and their needs are different from those of men in correctional facilities. The goal of this chapter is to discuss the relationship of drug abuse to the increasing rates of female incarceration, to identify the challenges in meeting the unique needs of imprisoned substance-dependent women, and to provide descriptions of a promising intervention approach for this population.
The number of incarcerated women tripled between 1985 and 1997 (Richie 1999). On any given day in 1994, over 800, 000 women were under some type of correctional supervision in the United States (Beck and Gilliard 1995). This total includes women on probation, in jail, in prison, and on parole. For women, the chances of going to prison were six times greater in 2001 (p =.018) than in 1974 (p =.003), and for men, the chances of going to prison were over three times greater in 2001 (p =.113) than in 1974 (p =.036) (Bonczar 2003). Among the percentage of all persons ever confined in prison, the proportion of women increased from 7.8 percent in 1974 to 10.3 percent in 2001 (Bonczar 2003). For a number of years, women have been entering prison at a faster rate than men (Beck and Gillard 1995) The number of incarcerated adult females rose from 142, 000 in 1974 to 581, 000 in 2001. Also, the number of white (non-Hispanic) incarcerated women rose from 86, 000 in 1974 to 225, 000 in 2001 while the number of black women in prison rose from 51, 000 to 231, 000 (Bonczar 2003).
Incarcerated women are disproportionately women of color (particularly black and Hispanic/Latina) from low-income communities who have been subjected to a disproportionately high rate of violence (Richie 1999). Adult black females are nearly two and a half times more likely than adult Hispanic females and five and a half times more likely than adult white females to have ever served time in a state or federal prison. Among adult U.S. residents in 2001, an estimated 1.7