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A Meta-Analytic Review of Correctional Interventions for Women Offenders

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 43 Issue: 3 Dated: 2016 Pages: 301-322
Renée Gobeil; Kelley Blanchette; Lynn Stewart
Date Published
22 pages

This document discusses an examination of research about the effectiveness of gender-informed interventions for female offenders, to reduce recidivism, as compared with the effectiveness of gender-neutral interventions.


Using meta-analytic approaches, the authors examined whether interventions for women offenders are effective in reducing recidivism, as well as whether gender-informed and gender-neutral interventions differ in their effectiveness. Across 38 effect sizes reflecting 37 studies and nearly 22,000 women offenders, women who participated in correctional interventions had 22 percent to 35 percent greater odds of community success than non-participants. In other words, correctional interventions for women are at least as effective as the published rates for men. Across all 38 effect sizes, gender-informed and gender-neutral interventions were equally effective; however, when analyses were limited to 18 effect sizes associated with studies of higher methodological quality, gender-informed interventions were significantly more likely to be associated with reductions in recidivism. These findings support recent research indicating that women and girls are more likely to respond well to gender-informed approaches if their backgrounds and pathways to offending are associated with gendered issues. Publisher Abstract Provided