In This Article Counseling Female Offenders

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Textbooks
  • Manuals and Guides
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals
  • Rationale for Gender-Specific Treatment

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Social Work Counseling Female Offenders
by
Katherine van Wormer
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0056

Introduction

Gender-specific programming is viewed as essential to effective work with girls and women in the criminal justice system. Gender-specific programming can be defined as treatment that is especially designed to meet the needs of persons based on biological, psychological, and social needs unique to one’s gender. Regarding female offenders, the three strongest arguments for gender specific programming are women’s unique biology, cultural role expectations and vulnerabilities, and gendered pathways into crime. This entry identifies resources that pertain to working with girls and women who are in the criminal justice system, some confined in institutions, others participating in community correctional programs. There are few books and articles specific to social work in this specialized field, and most of the material derives from the criminal justice literature. Although there is extensive literature on recommended treatment for female offenders, the gap between theory and practice is large. Much of the literature in this entry derives from Canadian and British sources—a fact reflective of the research being done in progressive correctional counseling—and concerns treatment innovations in the system and writings on deficiencies in the treatment. That girls and women in trouble with the law have special needs is a major theme of the literature.

General Overviews

Bloom, et al. 2004 has helped revolutionize the concepts pertaining to the female offender even though practice has not caught up with the theory. The gender-responsive strategies articulated by these writers have led to endorsement by the federal government of gender-specific strategies in the treatment of girls and women in the system. Failinger 2006 is unique in showing how restorative justice strategies are consistent with women’s concern with restoring relationships. The Bureau of Justice Statistics 2000 provides an empirical overview of female offender characteristics, while the National Institute of Corrections directs users to information that provides overviews and details on the many areas of study and research relevant to female offenders. Blanchette and Brown 2006 explores the role of a woman’s family, and Lart, et al. 2008 concludes that more research on treatment effectiveness is needed.

  • Blanchette, K., and S. Brown. 2006. Gender-informed correctional practice: Integrating gender neutral and gender-specific/responsive paradigms. Women, Girls, and Criminal Justice 7.4: 57–64.

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    Discusses family contact as a variable that is particularly salient for predictions about a woman’s conduct in the institution and her risk of reoffending.

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    • Bloom, Barbara, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington. 2004. Women offenders and the gendered effects of public policy. Review of Policy Research 21.1: 31–48.

      DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-1338.2004.00056.xE-mail Citation »

      Presents a realistic picture of how public policy fails to meet the specific needs of women offenders. Accordingly this is good background material for the context of correctional counseling.

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      • Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. 2000. Women offenders. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.

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        Although outdated, this government report organizes statistics on female criminality to provide a summary of characteristics of the female offender.

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        • Failinger, Marie A. 2006. Lessons unlearned: Women offenders, the ethics of care, and the promise of restorative justice. Fordham Urban Law Journal 33.2: 487–526.

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          The focus here is on the role of relationships in the making of a female offender. Provides an overview of how women often get involved in crime through their relationships with criminal men.

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          • Lart, Rachel, Christina Pantazis, Simon Pemberton, William Turner, and Celia Almeida. 2008. Interventions aimed at reducing re-offending in female offenders: A rapid evidence assessment. London: Ministry of Justice.

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            This 78-page document provides an extensive summary of research findings concerning treatment interventions aimed at targeting antisocial attitudes and anger, self control, family processes (for example, affection and supervision), general educational needs, and peer groups associated with reductions in women’s offending. Available online.

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            • National Institute of Corrections. Corrections Community.

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              Includes extensive links to matters pertaining to female offenders.

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              Textbooks

              The outstanding textbook in the field of counseling female offenders is Immarigeon 2006. Although other works in the list in this section are better known as textbooks, Chesney-Lind and Pasko 2004 and Chesney-Lind and Sheldon 2004 are must reading for any researcher interested in policy issues and the psychology and social aspects of female offending. Immarigeon 2006 is the most oriented toward treatment issues. This text contains chapters that were originally journal articles that cover the major aspects of counseling, including assessment and treatment for substance and mental health disorders. Researchers and activists who want to dispel media reports concerning the supposedly liberated criminal female would do well to read Chesney-Lind and Pasko 2004 and Chesney-Lind and Sheldon 2004. Belknap 2007 provides a comprehensive overview of relevant information. Blanchette and Brown 2006 is a useful guide to risk assessment. Muraskin 2007 is an eight hundred–page anthology focusing on crimes committed by girls and women and crimes committed against girls and women. Van Wormer and Bartollas 2007 uniquely includes chapters on restorative justice practices pertaining to women’s needs and global victimization. Zaplin 2008 blends theory with practice.

              • Belknap, Joanne. 2007. The invisible woman: Gender, crime, and justice. 3d ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

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                This well-researched and comprehensive text focuses on female offending, victimization, and professional workers within the criminal justice system.

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                • Blanchette, Kelley, and Shelley L. Brown. 2006. The assessment and treatment of women offenders: An integrative perspective. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

                  DOI: 10.1002/9780470713013E-mail Citation »

                  Uniquely provides a gender-based and evidence-based guide for risk assessment and treatment of female offenders.

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                  • Bloom, Barbara E., ed. 2003. Gendered justice: Addressing female offenders. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic.

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                    Policy pertaining to female offenders is the focus of this readable volume. One learns in this book how “equal” treatment is turned against women’s interests by official authorities in the justice system.

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                    • Chesney-Lind, Meda, and Lisa Pasko. 2004. The female offender: Girls, women, and crime. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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                      Covers not only adult female offenders but also how the interaction of sexism, racism, and social class inequalities results in girls becoming criminal offenders. Focuses on consequences of the imprisonment binge that has resulted in an increasing number of girls and women being incarcerated.

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                      • Chesney-Lind, Meda, and Randall G. Shelden. 2004. Girls, delinquency, and juvenile justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning.

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                        Experts on girl gangs, the women’s studies scholars Chesney-Lind and Shelden help dispel the myths about the new violent female offender.

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                        • Immarigeon, Russ, ed. 2006. Women and girls in the criminal justice system: Policy issues and practice strategies. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

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                          This comprehensive anthology provides research-based chapters on virtually every aspect of correctional counseling of female offenders. The emphasis is on alternatives to imprisonment and gender-sensitive programming. Reviews of empirical data, quantitative and qualitative studies, and innovative program descriptions contribute to this excellent overview of the plight of females in the correctional system.

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                          • Muraskin, Roslyn, ed. 2007. It’s a crime: Women and justice. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                            Chapters on women on death row and women in prison provide in-depth coverage of relevant correctional issues. The section on women correctional officers, judges, and lawyers is informative.

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                            • Van Wormer, Katherine Stuart, and Clemens Bartollas. Women and the Criminal Justice System. 2d ed. Boston: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon, 2007.

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                              An empowerment approach is the organizing framework, an approach that extends from girls and women caught up in the system to women professionals in the various sectors of the criminal justice system.

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                              • Zaplin, Ruth T., ed. 2008. Female offenders: Critical perspectives and effective interventions. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

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                                Grounded in the relevant research and literature, this book blends theory with practice by presenting theories on the rehabilitation of female offenders alongside program models and effective strategies for reentry into society.

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                                Manuals and Guides

                                The manuals in this section cover much of the same material. The gender-based theoretical models used are derived from Canadian material from 1990 and gender-specific research, such as that conducted by Stephanie Covington in 1999. Covington 1999 includes a workbook and instructions for the group or individual facilitator. Fortin 2004 provides a framework for program development and implementation for women offenders in Canada. Canadian correctional services have been at the forefront of gender-specific treatment, at least in theory. National Institute of Corrections 2008 documents the British government’s attempts to reform the criminal justice system in its treatment of female offenders. National Institute of Corrections 2006 describes holistic, gender-sensitive needs. Pettway 2006 singles out several programs of proven effectiveness. Patton and Morgan 2002 provides guidelines for alternative programming.

                                • Covington, Stephanie S. 1999. Helping women recover: A program for treating substance abuse. Special edition for use in the criminal justice system. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                  This manual is widely used throughout the women’s correctional system as a workbook of modules for correctional counselors to follow in collaboration with female offenders. Issues stemming from trauma and substance dependence are addressed.

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                                  • Fortin, D. 2004. Program strategy for women offenders. Correctional Services Canada, Programs for Women Offenders.

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                                    Outlines the distinctions between correctional programs, mental health programs and other programs (such as education, employment and employability, and social programs). The report is designed to provide an overview of programming available to women, guidelines for the delivery, and the rationale for the program.

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                                    • National Institute of Corrections. 2008. The offender management guide to working with women offenders.

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                                      Offers guidance to probation departments and other officials in community corrections to improve service delivery to women in the criminal justice system and to help break the cycle of offending.

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                                      • National Institute of Corrections. 2006. Women offender case management model.

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                                        Describes for the correctional case manager a holistic, gender-sensitive needs assessment to evaluate women’s strengths and risks stemming from dysfunctional relationships and mental and substance-use disorders.

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                                        • Patton, Pam, and Marcia Morgan. 2002. How to implement Oregon’s guidelines for effective gender-responsive programming for girls.

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                                          This sixty-nine-page manual does an excellent job of showing how “gender neutral” is actually not neutral but male-oriented. See pages 7–10.

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                                          • Pettway, Coretta. 2006. Best practices tool-kit: Gender-responsive strategies. Columbus: Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

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                                            The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction singles out several programs of proven effectiveness in reducing recidivism in female offenders, for example, the description of the Forever Free program to help women return to the community.

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                                            Bibliographies

                                            In this section, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service is the most complete. The Minnesota Association of Community Corrections Act Counties lists dozens of relevant journals and provides links to other Internet-based resources. The citations in Pettway 2006 also provide web links to relevant sources. Social Care Online is a British search engine for the field of social work.

                                            Journals

                                            The journals in this section were selected because of the likelihood that each issue will have at least one article relevant to the treatment needs of female offenders. Shining above the rest are Feminist Criminology, which brings a radical feminist international focus to female criminality and punishment, and Women and Criminal Justice, which publishes gendered research concerning professionals as well as offenders and victims. The Journal of Offender Rehabilitation is the primary resource for research on rehabilitation programs and their impact on the criminal population. The British Journal of Criminology is one of the world’s leading journals of criminology. The British Journal of Social Work is published for the British Association of Social Workers. Most issues of Crime and Delinquency topics pertaining to female offenders. Federal Probation is a US government publication and is provided quarterly by the US courts. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology is devoted to issues related to therapy and counseling of offenders. Victims and Offenders: Journal of Evidence-Based Policies and Practices is a forum for articles working in the area where criminal justice and social work meet.

                                            • British Journal of Criminology.

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                                              All areas of criminology, including those pertaining to women and juveniles, are covered.

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                                              • British Journal of Social Work.

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                                                A leading academic social work journal internationally. Periodically articles on the theme of treatment of women in the justice system are published.

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                                                • Crime and Delinquency.

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                                                  A well-known publication concerned with practical policy and program analyses. Its impact factor is rated as 1.796.

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                                                  • Federal Probation.

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                                                    Described on its website as the journal of correctional philosophy and practice. Much attention is paid to innovative practices in corrections, including gender-specific programming in the correctional system.

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                                                    • Feminist Criminology.

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                                                      Published quarterly, this innovative new journal is dedicated to research related to women, girls, and crime within the context of a feminist critique of criminology. Published as the official journal of the Division on Women and Crime of the American Society of Criminology, this international publication focuses on research and theory that highlight the gendered nature of crime.

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                                                      • International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology.

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                                                        Psychological, biological, and environmental factors in crime and delinquency are covered in articles in this bimonthly publication. Impact factor: 716. Sponsored by the University of Nevada Medical School.

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                                                        • Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

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                                                          A multidisciplinary journal of innovation in research, services, and programs in criminal justice and corrections. Programs and services for correctional populations residing in prison as well as in the community are examined. The range of topics is broad and includes community reentry and reintegration. Women’s issues are addressed.

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                                                          • Victims and Offenders: Journal of Evidence-Based Policies and Practices.

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                                                            This relatively new journal publishes articles at the intersection of criminal justice and social work.

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                                                            • Women and Criminal Justice.

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                                                              The only periodical devoted specifically to interdisciplinary and international scholarly research and criminal justice practice dealing with all areas of women and criminal justice.

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                                                              Rationale for Gender-Specific Treatment

                                                              For girls and women in the criminal justice system, gender-responsive policy provides effective interventions that address intersecting issues of substance use, trauma, mental health, and economic oppression. The government report Bloom, et al. 2003 eloquently presents the case for programming that is gender-responsive for female offenders. This fact is not always acknowledged, however. As indicated in Hubbard and Matthews 2008, the “what works” crime and delinquency prevention literature asserts that the core principles of treatment effectiveness apply to males and females alike and that such principles are research based. To meet delinquent girls’ special needs, Hubbard and Matthews 2008 recommends a focus on career development, vocational training, women’s issues, life skills, assertiveness, and empowering activities.

                                                              • Bloom, Barbara, Barbara Owen, and Stephanie Covington. 2003. Gender-responsive strategies: research, practice, and guiding principles for women offenders. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections, US Department of Justice.

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                                                                Research provided in this government report effectively present the case for gender-responsive strategies to help women offenders get out of the criminal justice system and turn their lives around.

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                                                                • Hubbard, Dana Jones, and Betsy Matthews. 2008. Reconciling the differences between the “gender-responsive” and the “what works” literatures to improve services for girls. Crime and Delinquency 54:225–258.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0011128706296733E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Hubbard and Matthews respond to the rift in the field between correctional leaders calling for empirically based research that is oriented toward a behavioral-cognitive model and proponents of gender-responsive strategies. These researchers call for an integrated approach that is cognitive and research based.

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                                                                  Working with Juvenile Offenders

                                                                  The following selections from diverse sources are in general agreement that major improvements are needed in the juvenile justice system to meet the special need of girls in trouble with the law. Whether girls in the early 21st century are more violent than girls were previously is an issue considered by several of the contributions in this section. While Archer and Grascia 2005 accepts the statistics at face value that show an increase in female juvenile arrest rates for assault, others such as Luke 2008 and Zahn, et al. 2008 challenge the belief that girls have actually become more violent. American Bar Association and National Bar Association 2001 and Human Rights Watch 2006 document the experiences of adolescent girls in the justice system, while Lederman, et al. 2004 provides demographic information concerning female juvenile offenders.

                                                                  • American Bar Association and National Bar Association. 2001. Justice by gender: The lack of appropriate prevention, diversion, and treatment alternatives for girls in the justice system.

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                                                                    This legal resource reveals the plight of adjudicated adolescent girls in the system and shows where improvements are desperately needed.

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                                                                    • Archer, Lianne, and Andrew M. Grascia. 2005. Girls, gangs, and crime: Profile of the young female offender. Social Work Today 5:38–41.

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                                                                      Although the authors willingly accept that juvenile females are increasingly violent and that the new aggressive laws are a positive development, this source provides a highly readable account of girls in gangs. The article reviews the underlying reasons for girls’ involvement in gangs.

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                                                                      • Human Rights Watch. 2006. US: Girls abused in New York’s juvenile prisons; Violent restraints, sexual abuse must stop.

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                                                                        Facts revealed in this source are shocking and include the sexual abuse of female offenders in institutions and violent restraints that are used to subdue them. The girls interviewed are from poor and minority urban backgrounds.

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                                                                        • Lederman, Cindy S., Gail A. Dakof, Maria A. Larreal, and Hua Li. 2004. Characteristics of adolescent females in juvenile detention. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27:321–337.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2004.03.009E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Identifies basic demographic and offense patterns as well as background characteristics—such as family dysfunction, trauma, abuse, mental health issues, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, academic problems, and delinquent peers—that are common features among girls in custody.

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                                                                          • Luke, Katherine P. 2008. Are girls really becoming more violent? A critical analysis. Affilia 23.1: 38–50.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/0886109907310461E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Clarifies the real meaning of the statistics on juvenile offenses and convincingly reveals how the change in law enforcement policies, rather than changes in girls’ behavior, is the real reason for the seeming increase in female juvenile assault rates.

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                                                                            • Miller, Jody. 2001. One of the guys: Girls, gangs, and gender. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                              The author takes readers into the world of the gangs to show that girls maintain their femininity even when involved in gangs.

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                                                                              • Zahn, Margaret A., Stephanie R. Hawkins, Janet Chiancone, and Ariel Whitworth. 2008. Girls study group: Understanding and responding to girls’ delinquency. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice.

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                                                                                This special report effectively refutes media claims that girls’ violence is increasing. The girls study group provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary foundation for responding to girls’ involvement in delinquency.

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                                                                                Pathways to Delinquency

                                                                                Among the forces that contribute to criminal pathways are early childhood victimization, use of drugs for self-medication, and entrapment in dysfunctional relationships. Goodkind, et al. 2006 and Sherman 2005 reveal how the starting point to female delinquency is the violence in family life. Collectively the selections in this section show that to be effective, programming for girls’ and women’s institutions must address these unique life experiences. Holsinger and Holsinger 2005 and Pugh-Lilly, et al. 2001 demonstrate that race is a factor in pathways to delinquency, while Pace 2006 looks at the influence of the mother-daughter relationship. Schwartz, et al. 2004 explores the opposition to existing federal policies, and Springer 2007 offers alternatives. Snyder 2008 offers data on patterned behavior.

                                                                                • Goodkind, Sara, Irene Ng, and Rosemary C. Sarri. 2006. The impact of sexual abuse in the lives of young women involved or at risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Violence against Women 12:456–477.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/1077801206288142E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  The focus of this article is on early childhood sexual abuse. The authors make a strong case for the treatment of female juvenile offenders in the community.

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                                                                                  • Holsinger, Kristi, and Alexander M. Holsinger. 2005. Differential pathways to violence and self-injurious behavior: African American and white girls in the juvenile justice system. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 42:211–242.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0022427804271938E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Self-reported data from interviews with 163 incarcerated girls in Ohio reveals the uniqueness of pathways to delinquency by race.

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                                                                                    • Pace, Paul R. 2006. Breaking the mom/daughter prison cycle. National Association of Social Workers News 51.3: 4.

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                                                                                      Facts revealed in this article show that daughters whose mothers are incarcerated are six times more likely to land in the juvenile justice system compared to girls from the general population. A progressive Girl Scouts program for mothers in prison is described.

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                                                                                      • Pugh-Lilly, Aalece O., Karen L. Poulin, and Helen A. Neville. 2001. In protection of ourselves: Black girls’ perceptions of self-reported delinquent behaviors. Psychology of Women Quarterly 25:145–154.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/1471-6402.00016E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Interviews with black girls who have behaved aggressively reveal that these girls resorted to aggression for perceived self-protection. These juveniles perceived the environment as hostile.

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                                                                                        • Schwartz, Ira, Martha Steketee, and Victoria Schneider. 2004. Federal juvenile justice policy and the incarceration of girls. In Girls, women, and crime. Edited by Meda Chesney-Lind and Lisa Pasko, 115–127. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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                                                                                          Describes the impact of federal policy challenging the unnecessary incarceration of girls, which has led to success in some states in establishing community programming for girls in trouble with the law.

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                                                                                          • Sherman, Francine T. 2005. Pathways to juvenile detention reform: Detention reform and girls; challenges and solutions. Baltimore: Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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                                                                                            This monograph is the thirteenth in the Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform series. The success that participating sites have had in coordinating services for gender-responsive treatment of juvenile female offenders is reviewed.

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                                                                                            • Snyder, Howard N. 2008. Juvenile arrests 2006. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Justice.

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                                                                                              Researchers can use this resource to study patterns in female juvenile arrests in comparison with the arrests of male juveniles.

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                                                                                              • Springer, David W. 2007. Transforming juvenile justice in Texas: A framework for action. Blue Ribbon Task Force Report. Austin: Univ. of Texas School of Social Work.

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                                                                                                Findings from a committee of around twenty members. Emphasizes keeping youths in the community, the development of youth courts, and special programming for girls. Specific recommendations for reforming the Texas juvenile system are spelled out.

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                                                                                                Interventions with Juvenile Offenders

                                                                                                The following listings describe gendered counseling programming as applied to girls in the system. For an overview of gender-specific interventions, start with Goodkind 2005 and move to Landsberg and Rees 2007 for specifics on mental health issues. Gordon 2004 describes what success looks like through a discussion of a particular program.

                                                                                                • Goodkind, Sara. 2005. Gender-specific services in the juvenile justice system: A critical examination. Affilia 20:52–70.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1177/0886109904272061E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Provides a basic overview of gender-specific services that social workers provide.

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                                                                                                  • Gordon, K. G. Jan. 2004. From corrections to connections: A report on the AMICUS girls’ restorative program.

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                                                                                                    Description of a highly innovative and successful counseling program used in Minneapolis to help improve girls’ self-esteem.

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                                                                                                    • Landsberg, Gerald, and Jo Rees. 2007. Forensic practices and serving dually diagnosed youth involved with the juvenile justice system. In Handbook of forensic mental health with victims and offenders. Edited by David W. Springer and Albert R. Roberts, 205–223. New York: Springer.

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                                                                                                      This article is geared toward social workers to prepare them to address the mental health issues they will encounter in their work with girls in the juvenile justice system.

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                                                                                                      Correctional Counseling within Prison Walls

                                                                                                      Prisons are places designed to confine and control and generally are not conducive to therapeutic programming. The prison environment, in short, is not the natural domain of mental health professionals or religious counselors. All higher-level positions in fact are apt to be filled by mainstream correctional staff, often with military backgrounds and conservative political affiliations.

                                                                                                      The Prison Environment

                                                                                                      Most of the studies in this section present a view of the female prison environment in the United States designed in the early 21st century as modeled on male prisons. Bloom and Chesney-Lind 2007 explains this phenomenon as “vengeful equity” or “equality with a vengeance.” This phrase refers to an antifeminist backlash that is played out against poor and minority women in trouble with the law. In the early 21st century they are punished in facilities designed for antisocial men. Nevertheless women are still women, and internally the female prison environment is different from the scene in men’s institutions. Bloom and Chesney-Lind 2007 should be read by everyone who wants to understand the ideology behind the ever harsher punishments meted out to women when they come before the courts of law. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear series has data demonstrating gender differences. Correctional Services Canada 2008 contains links to documents that describe Canada’s progressive woman-centered programs. Chesney-Lind and Pollock 1995 explains a late 20th-century surge in female prison inmates. Kilty 2006 explores treatment from a mental health perspective. Giallombardo 1966 is a classic look inside a women’s prison.

                                                                                                      • Bloom, Barbara E., and Meda Chesney-Lind. 2007. Women in prison: Vengeful equity. In It’s a crime: Women and justice. Edited by Roslyn Muraskin, 542–563. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                                                                                                        Discusses the new toughness in the judicial treatment of women offenders and provides a profile of their lives prior to incarceration. A section on mothers behind bars is provided.

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                                                                                                        • Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear.

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                                                                                                          Basic statistics show male-female differences on a number of significant variables. Updated annually.

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                                                                                                          • Chesney-Lind, Meda, and Jocelyn M. Pollock. 1995. Women’s prisons: Equality with a vengeance. In Women, law, and social control. Edited by Alida V. Merlo and Jocelyn M. Pollock, 155–177. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

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                                                                                                            The concept “equality with a vengeance” is defined in this article, a concept that has been widely used in discussions of the surge in women going to prison in later writings.

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                                                                                                            • Correctional Service Canada. Women.

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                                                                                                              Includes information on substance abuse counseling, the building of aboriginal healing lodges, educational and childcare programs, and the establishment of a community strategy to expand and strengthen residential and nonresidential programs and services for women on release.

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                                                                                                              • Giallombardo, Rose. 1966. Society of women. New York: Wiley.

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                                                                                                                This classic work in sociology describes how female inmates at Alderson Correctional Institution in West Virginia created their own family structures for social support.

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                                                                                                                • Kilty, Jennifer M. 2006. Under the barred umbrella: Is there room for a women-centered self-injury policy in Canadian corrections? Criminology and Public Policy 5.1: 161–182.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2006.00107.xE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Examines a chain of policy directives concerning self-injury inside federal correctional facilities in Canada. Unfortunately, as the author argues, the prison system’s focus on risk assessment fails to address the needs of the women they confine. Instead, women’s needs are reconceptualized as institutional risk factors.

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                                                                                                                  • Pollack, Soshana, and Kathy Kendall. 2007. Taming the shrew: Regulating prisoners through women-centered mental health programming. Critical Criminology 15:71–87.

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                                                                                                                    A hard-biting article that shows how diagnosis can be used against women in prison.

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                                                                                                                    Assessment

                                                                                                                    Gender-sensitive assessment, as shown in the selections in this section, differs from the risk assessments done with women according to the standard male model. Advocates of gender-sensitive assessments, such as Hannah-Moffat and Shaw 2003, stress attention to relationship dysfunction, anger and hostility, history of mental illness, symptoms of depression or anxiety, symptoms of psychosis, parental stress, a history of child abuse and adult victimization, self-efficacy, and family support. Assessment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important part of the process to determine treatment needs. The listings provide criticisms of the present assessment forms that are used throughout the correctional system. All of them recommend that women be assessed in terms of their unique qualities and needs. Van Voorhis 2005, for example, argues that woman offenders are not appropriately classified. O’Brien and Young 2006 addresses assessment relating to preparation for life after prison. Blanchette and Taylor 2005 describes a classification instrument used in Canada.

                                                                                                                    • Blanchette, Kelley, and Kelly Taylor. 2005. Development and field-test of a gender-informed security reclassification scale for women offenders. Research Branch, Correctional Service Canada.

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                                                                                                                      Describes the development and field test of the Security Reclassification Scale for Women in Canada, a classification instrument developed to provide a national, objective, “gender-informed tool that would assist in the placement of women into the least restrictive measures of confinement.”

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                                                                                                                      • Hannah-Moffat, Kelly, and Margaret Shaw. 2003. The meaning of “risk” in women’s prisons: A critique. In Gendered justice: Addressing female offenders. Edited by Barbara E. Bloom, 45–68. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic.

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                                                                                                                        This critique of the treatment accorded women in the Canadian system showed that the term “risk” referred to institutional security and did not relate to women’s needs. What is needed is gender-sensitive assessment, not assessment of risk.

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                                                                                                                        • O’Brien, Patricia, and Diane S. Young. 2006. Challenges for formerly incarcerated women: A holistic approach to assessment. Families in Society 87.3: 359–366.

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                                                                                                                          Meeting basic needs and having an income are key considerations in the prevention of women’s return to prison. The obstacles are many, especially when the individual has spent many years locked away.

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                                                                                                                          • Van Voorhis, Patricia. 2005. Classification of women offenders: Gender-responsive approaches to risk/needs assessment. Community Corrections Report 12.2: 19–27.

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                                                                                                                            Classification determines which kind of prison setting is suitable for the newly sentenced convict. Women tend to be overclassified, according to Van Voorhis, because the context within which they committed their crimes is not taken into account. Available online.

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                                                                                                                            Treatment Interventions

                                                                                                                            Unlike involuntary clients on the outside, often resentful of having to travel to appointments at inconvenient times, prison inmates are inclined to be grateful for the help they receive. The selections in this section cover various aspects of treatment, and all emphasize specialized treatment for girls and women. The most provocative article is Kendall and Pollack 2003, because the authors criticize the overemphasis on utilizing modalities that are empirically based when the research is done mostly on males. Corston 2007 is highly critical of the British prison system for the treatment accorded to women. McKee 2006 demonstrates the value of differentiating causal factors and the mental states of women. Pollack 2004 explores the power arrangements within prison. Pollack 1998 identifies the tools needed to work with female prisoners. Van Wormer and Kaplan 2006 and Valandra 2007 both offer survey evidence. Van Wormer and Kaplan 2006 is a survey of prison administrators from women’s prisons, Valandra 2007 a survey of former prostitutes. Williams and Rikard 2005 discusses the special needs of elderly female inmates.

                                                                                                                            • Corston, Jean. 2007. The Corston report: A report by Baroness Jean Corston of a review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the criminal justice system. London: Home Office.

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                                                                                                                              Concludes that women are disadvantaged in the criminal justice system because policies and practices are based primarily on meeting the needs of male offenders.

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                                                                                                                              • Kendall, Kathy, and Soshana Pollack. 2003. Cognitive behavioralism in women’s prisons. In Gendered justice: Addressing female offenders. Edited by Barbara E. Bloom, 69–96. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic.

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                                                                                                                                This article should be read by the correctional counselor because it exposes the gap between gender-specific goals and the use of cognitive behavioral modalities that are highly controlling and insensitive to women’s concerns.

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                                                                                                                                • McKee, Geoffrey R. 2006. Why mothers kill: A forensic psychologist’s casebook. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                  The presentation of case studies of women who killed their infants and children can help the correctional counselor understand factors that might lead to an otherwise incomprehensible crime. More than a dozen case histories are included in this casebook.

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                                                                                                                                  • Pollack, Soshana. 2004. Anti-oppressive social work practice with women in prison: Discursive reconstructions and alternative practices. British Journal of Social Work 34:693–707.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bch085E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Shows that social workers need to be aware of power arrangements in a prison system and work with women to help them overcome their oppression.

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                                                                                                                                    • Pollock, Jocelyn M. 1998. Counseling women in prison. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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                                                                                                                                      This older book does an excellent job of setting forth the skills that are required to do correctional counseling within a prison environment.

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                                                                                                                                      • Valandra. 2007. Reclaiming their lives and breaking free: An Afrocentric approach to recovery from prostitution. Affilia 22:95–208.

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                                                                                                                                        Based on information derived from focus groups of African Americans who have a background of prostitution, the author, who uses only a single name, discusses the legacy of violence and the prism of oppression that characterizes these women’s lives.

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                                                                                                                                        • Van Wormer, Katherine, and Laura E. Kaplan. 2006. Results of a national survey of wardens in women’s prisons: The case for gender specific treatment. Women and Therapy 29 (1–2): 133–151.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1300/J015v29n01_07E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Confirms that the present laws are not meeting the needs of female offenders. Also that these incarcerated women are far from liberated or feminist.

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                                                                                                                                          • Williams, Monica E., and Robert Vann Rikard. 2005. Marginality or neglect: An exploratory study of policies and programs for aging female inmates. Women and Criminal Justice 15 (3–4): 121–141.

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                                                                                                                                            Reviews the literature showing the needs of elderly female inmates and summarizes innovative programming to meet their special needs.

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                                                                                                                                            Reentry into the Community

                                                                                                                                            Institutions do little to address the complex set of problems that make reintegration into the society for ex-offenders difficult. As argued by the authors in this section, reentry programs are essential for women and need to take environmental factors, such as employment difficulties and weak support systems, into account. Walker, et al. 2006 is especially innovative in its description of a restorative justice program to help women reconcile with their loved ones before moving back into the community. Brimeyer 2003 and National Institute of Justice 2005 describe different reentry programs. Brooker 2007 and Covington 2002 demonstrate the difficulties of reentry specific to women. Petersilia 2003 also discusses the difficulties of reentry but without the gendered framework. Office of Justice Programs 2006 provides data and research on the topic.

                                                                                                                                            • Brimeyer, Larry. 2003. Iowa implements mental health re-entry program. Corrections Today 65:38–39.

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                                                                                                                                              The Iowa Department of Corrections requires a prearranged parole plan that includes wraparound services and intensive community supervision. Individuals must follow through on mandated mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

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                                                                                                                                              • Brooker, Dale. 2007. The reentry programs for women. In It’s a crime: Women and justice. Edited by Roslyn Muraskin, 564–571. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                                                                                                                                                The unique challenges facing former inmates and especially women inmates upon their return home are described. A thorough review of the literature is provided.

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                                                                                                                                                • Covington, Stephanie. A woman’s journey home: Challenges for female offenders and their children. From Prison to Home conference, 30–31 January 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                  Covington differentiates between the issues facing men and those facing women as they strive to reestablish their previous lives in the community after release from confinement.

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                                                                                                                                                  • National Institute of Justice. 2005. Reentry programs for women inmates. National Institute of Justice Journal 252.

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                                                                                                                                                    Among the programs described here are therapeutic community programs for female inmates. This bulletin discusses the importance of a continuum of care.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Office of Justice Programs. Reentry. Publications: Female Offenders. US Department of Justice.

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                                                                                                                                                      A helpful resource that provides direct access to recent research on reentry concerning female former inmates. Full text is provided.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Petersilia, Joan. 2003. When prisoners come home: Parole and prisoner reentry. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                        Although this book does not emphasize gender differences in treatment needs, the attention to reentry planning makes it a significant contribution.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Walker, Lorenn, Ted Sakai, and Kat Brady. 2006. Restorative circles: A reentry planning process for Hawaii inmates. Federal Probation 70.1: 33–37.

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                                                                                                                                                          Describes a restorative circle process to help inmates prepare to be reintegrated into society. Consistent with native Hawaiian customs, restorative circles are meeting grounds for decision making and communicating with family members and victims who have been wronged.

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                                                                                                                                                          Counseling Female Offenders with Special Needs

                                                                                                                                                          Because female offenders commonly have mental disorders and addiction problems, the treatment resources included in this section are divided into those that focus on substance abuse primarily, those that focus on treatment for both substance use and mental disorders, and those that advocate for integrated treatment for both disorders by practitioners qualified to provide therapy in both areas.

                                                                                                                                                          Substance Abuse Counseling

                                                                                                                                                          The leading offense for which women in the early 21st century are sentenced to prison is drug-related crime, especially in the federal prison system. One promising development is the drug court movement, which provides intensive supervision to persons on probation. Treatment within jails and prisons is increasingly common and a key preventative to further drug use. Of the listings in this section, the government document Kassebaum 1999 is the most germane to the treatment needs of female offenders. It is policy oriented. Other government documents—Center for Substance Abuse Treatment 2005 and Home Office 2003—spell out easy-to-follow treatment protocols that should be highly useful to practitioners. Belenko, et al. 2005 uses an economic framework to compare treatment and incarceration. Listwan, et al. 2008 and Sims 2005 both review the drug courts.

                                                                                                                                                          • Belenko, Steven, Nicholas Patapis, and Michael French. 2005. Economic benefits of drug treatment: A critical review of the evidence for policy makers. Philadelphia: Treatment Research Institute, Univ. of Pennsylvania.

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                                                                                                                                                            Information provided in this document can help treatment advocates become aware of economic arguments favoring treatment over incarceration.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). 2005. Substance abuse treatment for persons with co-occurring disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42. Department of Health and Human Services Publication no. (SMA) 05-3922. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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                                                                                                                                                              CSAT provides useful information for treatment for persons who have both mental and substance use disorders. A special section on work with women who are pregnant or who need childcare services is provided. Available online.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Home Office. 2003. The substance misuse treatment needs of minority treatment groups: Women, young offenders, and ethnic minorities.

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                                                                                                                                                                This British government document bases its recommendations for enhanced treatment of female offenders for substance use issues on its survey of over three hundred female prisoners.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Kassebaum, Patricia A. 1999. Substance abuse treatment for women offenders: Guide to promising practice. Technical Assistance Publication Series 23. Rockford, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

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                                                                                                                                                                  This extensive guide provides guidelines and recommendations in designing programs to treat addicted women in the criminal justice system. Sections include strategies and promising practices in implementation, program design, and stages of treatment planning and summaries of prison and jail-based demonstration projects. Available online.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Listwan, Shelley Johnson, Deborah Koetzle Shaffer, and Jennifer L. Hartman. 2008. Combating methamphetamine use in the community: The efficacy of the drug court model. Crime and Delinquency 20.10: 1–18.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0011128707307221E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Because large numbers of female offenders have been convicted of methamphetamine use, this article on the importance of drug courts to these women and their families is included in this section.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Sims, Barbara, ed. 2005. Substance abuse treatment with correctional clients: Practical implications for institutional and community settings. New York: Haworth.

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                                                                                                                                                                      This invaluable resource for substance abuse counselors provides much information on drug courts that keep sentenced drug users within the community instead of sending them to prison. Chapters on female offenders and adolescent drug users are included.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2005. Substance abuse treatment for adults in the criminal justice system. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44. Washington, DC: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

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                                                                                                                                                                        This resource, which is free from SAMHSA, offers guidelines for enhancing a client’s motivation for treatment. The emphasis on family involvement is especially meaningful to women in the system. Available online.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Wells, Doris, and Laurie Bright. 2005. Drug treatment and reentry for incarcerated women. Corrections Today 67:1–2.

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                                                                                                                                                                          The Delaware Key/Crest drug treatment and reentry program described in this article used a modified (for women) therapeutic community rehabilitation format with an aftercare component. The aftercare portion of the program seems to have accounted for the program’s success in helping ex-convicts abstain from their criminal involvement.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Therapy for Mental Disorders and Trauma Reactions

                                                                                                                                                                          Far more than male offenders, female offenders come to the criminal justice system with mental disorders and a background of lifelong victimization. The publications in this section all argue for major improvements in the system to meet girls’ and women’s treatment needs. That prisons have become the new mental institutions is revealed in Human Rights Watch 2003 and Pfeiffer 2007. The other listings are more treatment focused. Correctional Association of New York 2007 evaluates existing programs. Cusack, Morrissey, and Ellis 2008 compares two approaches. Killeen, et al. 2008 and Kubiak and Rose 2007 demonstrate how to treat trauma and substance abuse simultaneously. Mapson 2005 and Obeidallah and Earls 1999 both make suggestions for more effective treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Correctional Association of New York. 2007. Report on mental health programs and services at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

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                                                                                                                                                                            This highly detailed program evaluation spells out strengths and deficiencies in mental health programming at one of the nation’s most progressive women’s prisons.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Cusack, Karen J., Joseph P. Morrissey, and Alan R. Ellis. 2008. Targeting trauma-related interventions and improving outcomes for women with co-occurring disorders. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 35.3: 147–158.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1007/s10488-007-0150-yE-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              A comparison of group sessions using integrated care with substance abuse–oriented group sessions alone revealed that both the intervention and control groups showed improvements in their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, alcohol and drug problems, and mental health problems over a year. The intervention groups, however, showed greater improvement.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Human Rights Watch. 2003. Ill-equipped: US prisons and offenders with mental illness. New York: Human Rights Watch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                This shocking exposé of the treatment of inmates with mental illness provides the facts that pertain to women as well as to men, the punishment of individuals for behavior that is a result of a mental disorder. Available online.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Killeen, Therese, Denise Hien, Aimee Campbell, Chanda Brown, Cheri Hansen, Huiping Jiang, Allison Kristman-Valente, Christine Neuenfeldt, et al. 2008. Adverse events in an integrated trauma-focused intervention for women in community substance abuse treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 35.3: 304–311.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/j.jsat.2007.12.001E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  The significance of this article is in demonstrating that treatment for trauma can be successfully combined with substance abuse treatment without causing relapse.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kubiak, Sheryl, and Isabel Rose. 2007. Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in inmates with histories of substance use. In Handbook of forensic mental health with victims and offenders. Edited by David W. Springer and Albert R. Roberts, 445–466. New York: Springer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Provides useful information concerning work with inmates with dual diagnoses. Not only do women come to prison suffering from trauma, but many are further traumatized by the imprisonment itself, according to these authors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mapson, Andridia V. 2005. Hanging on by a thread: Mentally ill female offenders involved in the juvenile justice system. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work 2 (3–4): 85–95.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Mapson recommends that initiatives to address female delinquency be based on the developmental, psychological, social, educational, and cultural characteristics of this population, with gender appropriate program interventions addressing a continuum of care and providing comprehensive services.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Obeidallah, Dawn W., and Felton J. Earls. 1999. Adolescent girls: The role of depression in the development of delinquency. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Although this is an older report, the researcher will want to consider the finding that depression and delinquency may reinforce each other in significant and surprising ways.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pfeiffer, Mary Beth. 2007. Crazy in America: The hidden tragedy of our criminalized mentally ill. New York: Carroll and Graf.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Each chapter in this easy-to-read book tells the tragedy of an individual person with mental illness confined in the most wretched parts of prisons, punished for their psychotic episodes. The portraits of women are especially compelling.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mueser, et al. 2003 and Salina, et al. 2008 advocate for integrated treatment that features treatment of both mental and substance use disorders as primary, comprehensive services that are flexible and individualized, small caseloads, educational approaches, and staff expertise in treating both mental and substance use disorders.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mueser, Kim T., Douglas Noordsy, Robert Drake, and Lindy Fox. 2003. Integrated treatment for dual disorders: A guide to effective practice. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            This clinical handbook offers a useful discussion of integrated treatment in its many aspects. Gender is not a major consideration, however.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Salina, Doreen, Linda Lesondak, Lisa Razzano, and Ann Weilbaecher. 2008. Co-occurring mental disorders among incarcerated women. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 45.1–2: 207–225.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1300/J076v45n01_14E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              This well-written article explores the link between addiction and earlier victimization and shows why treatment must be holistic to meet women’s therapeutic needs.

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