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WOMEN, CRIME, AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

NCJ Number
51572
Author(s)
L H BOWKER
Date Published
1978
Length
301 pages
Annotation
THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG WOMEN, CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM ARE EXAMINED IN A TEXT ON WOMEN AS CRIMINALS AND AS VICTIMS.
Abstract
THE BOOK OPENS WITH A REVIEW OF OFFICIAL STATISTICS AND SELF-REPORT DATA ON FEMALE CRIME. WHILE THE GENERAL PATTERN OF OFFENSE STATISTICS IS SIMILAR FOR BOTH SELF-REPORT AND OFFICIAL DATA, SELF-REPORT STUDIES SHOW SMALLER DIFFERENCES IN MALE AND FEMALE CRIME THAN DO OFFICIAL ARREST STATISTICS. ALTHOUGH SELF-REPORT STUDIES ARE CONSIDERED TO PROVIDE A MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF FEMALE DELINQUENCY THAN DO OFFICIAL STATISTICS, THE LACK OF SUCH STUDIES LIMITS THEIR USEFULNESS FOR OVERALL POLICY DEVELOPMENT. A REVIEW OF EARLY THEORIES OF FEMALE CRIMINALITY CONCLUDES THAT THEORISTS TEND TO DEFINE WOMEN BY THEIR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND TO REFLECT STEREOTYPES AND MYTHS ABOUT WOMEN IN THEIR EXPLANATIONS OF FEMALE CRIMINALITY. A DISCUSSION OF WOMEN AND DRUGS CITES EMPIRICAL FINDINGS AND TOUCHES ON MALE-FEMALE DIFFERENCES IN THE USE OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS, FEMALE DRUG USE IN A RURAL COUNTY, ALCOHOLISM AND NARCOTICS ADDICTION AMONG WOMEN, DRUG PROBLEMS AMONG HOUSEWIVES, MALES AS CARRIERS OF DRUG USE TO FEMALES, AND GENERAL SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY ON FEMALE DRUG USE. OTHER CHAPTERS FOCUS ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOMEN AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: WOMEN AS VICTIMS (RAPE, MURDER, WIFE-BEATING, CHILD ABUSE); WOMEN IN GANGS AND AS PROSTITUTES; YOUNG WOMEN AND THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM; AND FEMALES IN CORRECTIONS. INCARCERATION OF FEMALE STATUS OFFENDERS IS CONSIDERED. A CHAPTER ON 'CHIVALRY' IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REVIEWS STUDIES OF THE RESPONSE OF POLICE, CORRECTIONS, AND THE COURTS TO FEMALE OFFENDERS AND CONCLUDES THAT THE CONCEPT OF FEMALE DEFENDANTS BENEFITING FROM MALE TOLERANCE IS INCORRECT. A CHAPTER ON INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES DISCUSSES FEMALE CRIME AND INCARCERATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES. THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER NOTES THAT DEVELOPMENTAL, SITUATIONAL, AND MACROSTRUCTURAL VARIABLES ALL ARE OPERATIVE IN THE ETIOLOGY OF FEMALE CRIME AND IN FEMALE ROLE OCCUPANCY WITHIN CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR SYSTEMS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THESE VARIABLES OPERATE IN WAYS THAT CAN BE REFERRED TO AS OPPRESSIVE, AND THAT THE TRADITION OF FEMALE OPPRESSION IS AMPLIFIED BY THE WAY IN WHICH WOMEN ARE PROCESSED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. TABULAR DATA AND REFERENCES ACCOMPANY THE READINGS. A LIST OF TABLES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED. SEE ALSO NCJ 51573-51575. (LKM)