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National Workshop on Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders Embracing Reality: The Journey Beyond Perception

NCJ Number
Let's Talk Volume: 25 Issue: 1 Dated: 2000 Pages: 19-20
Danielle Boisvert
Date Published
This article examines issues relating to adult and juvenile female offenders.
At a workshop in September 1999, representatives from Canada and the United States reviewed efforts to improve services to female offenders. There was a consensus among the participants that female offenders cannot use the male correctional models and that different approaches are needed. Specific areas where criminal justice systems need to be aware of and deal with differences between male and female offenders include the war on drugs, staff training, employment, addiction, health care, and mental health. The article briefly describes some programs that address those issues and examines a comprehensive, integrated, and developmental model for gender-specific treatment of substance abuse among women. The program integrates a theory of addiction, a theory of women's and girl's psychological development, and a theory of trauma. It focuses on issues of self, relationships, sexuality, spirituality, and the therapeutic techniques for dealing with those issues. The concepts of empowerment, respect and dignity, partnerships, and environment were present in all discussions regardless of the topic being discussed.