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Adult Female Offenders and Institutional Programs - A State of the Art Analysis

NCJ Number
T A Ryan
Date Published
151 pages
This report of a mail survey of 65 correctional facilities in 50 States and the District of Columbia, with an 88-percent return rate, analyzes the population of adult female offenders, as well as the programs and services available to them, and offers recommendations.
The methodology involved developing the survey instruments, determining the survey population, administering the questionnaire, and interpreting the data. Completed returns were received from 58 facilities in 45 States. Data sheets were developed to record survey results. They were designed to cover 11 areas: proportion of female offenders in total population; demographic data; educational programs; prison industries; testing and counseling; medical, dental, psychological, and psychiatric services; child care programs; innovative programs; personnel; financial support; and litigation. Survey results indicate that the female adult population has increased since 1975, although the proportion to the total population remains unchanged. Changes in ethnicity indicate an exact reversal of statistics in 1975 of 38 percent white and 50 percent black offenders. Although the property crime rate has increased, there has been little increase in 10 years in the violent crime rate. The age and prior education of adult female offenders has not changed significantly. Educational and vocational programs and medical services for female inmates have increased. Litigation costs for female offenders is an increasing problem. Recommendations are offered that would develop policies to facilitate communications between correctional institutions and State agencies involved with education and rehabilitation. Also, suggestions center on networking managers and supervisors with adult female offenders in institutions. An exchange of ideas to identify resources in regional and national forums is suggested. Additional training of corrections personnel to deal with the specific problems and needs of female adult offenders is proposed. Finally, continued study to coordinate the different kinds of programs available is recommended. About 65 references are listed. Data tables and lists of survey partipants are appended.