Gender-Responsive Treatment and the Need to Examine Female Inmates' Lives in Prison and Prior to Prison

Citation:

McDonald, Danielle. 2008. "Gender-Responsive Treatment and the Need to Examine Female Inmates' Lives in Prison and Prior to Prison." Corrections Compendium 33 (6): 7-8,10-12,29-30.

Author: Danielle McDonald

Abstract:

This study found that drug-/alcohol-addicted female inmates often began using and eventually abusing substances due to traumatic events in their lives such as abuse, neglect, or the loss of a child. Currently, the main reason for female recidivism is drug relapse. It is important for treatment practitioners to be aware of these past incidents, so the root of the addiction problem can be explored and worked through with an outcome of reduced recidivism. Women in the study also reported the importance of relationships with their significant other and children even after their incarceration. These relationships can be examined during treatment to help the women sustain relationships that are positive forces in their lives. For women, substance abuse is one outlet to deny or avoid problems in their lives, such as victimization. By delving into women’s pre-prison lives, the root of their substance abuse can be identified for later treatment needs. It is important also to examine the problems women face once in prison so treatment can address these issues as well. In an attempt to provide a better understanding of women’s lives prior to prison and the challenges they faced once incarcerated, interviews were conducted with women in the therapeutic community at a medium security prison located in rural Pennsylvania the houses approximately 2,000 women.

Keywords: prisons, Drug Abuse

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Justice Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008

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