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Female Criminality Essay

1557 words - 7 pages



The rise of female offending can be seen in various countries, but the reasons in the rising trends vary by continents. It was reported across various jurisdictions that, the rise of female offenders is particularly prominent in the U.S and Europe (Mclvor & Burman, 2011). Between the years of 1986 to 1995, women who are sentenced to imprisonment for drug offenses increased by 888%, this is particularly seen in states which uses severe penalties for drug offenses and among black women. Spain and Brazil were reported to have a high rising rate of female prisoner among other European countries; which were mostly incarcerated for ...view middle of the document...

The remaining report would examine other crucial factors to which why female offending has been on the rise for the past decade.

The women only probation centre in London was designed to be gender specific; it addresses issues on decision making, education, employment and personal as well as relationship skills. The main aim of this is to help women be responsible for their lives and reduce offending. A follow up of over two years from the release of the program showed that the recidivism rate for those who completed was 30%, while those who received custodial sentences was 18% and those who received non-custodial sentences was 42% (Lart et al., 2008).

The Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) and Reasoning & Rehabilitation (R&R) programmes have also been introduced to female offenders in England and Wales to help female offenders with better thinking skills, control of impulsiveness and the ability to relate to others (Lart et al. 2880). A comparison of recidivism rates from 2 years after the release showed that, the R & R programme has a higher correlation with an increased risk of reconviction after one year.

This programme is being introduced in the United States, which involved discharge planning, peer support, health care and social work. The programme started in prison and continues in the community. This was targeted at female offenders who have a higher risk in acquiring HIV and reconviction through drug usages and prostitution (Lark et al. 2008). Despite the analysis of the effectiveness of this programme still needed to be further examined, it does provide some substantial factors that continuing therapeutic support may reduce recidivism rates for women.

The change in the length of sentencing has shown to affect the number of population in the prison. The implementation of minimum mandatory sentencing in the United States has demonstrated that. It was reported that the percentage of female offenders convicted for drug offences rose from 11% up to 32% between the year 1979 to 2002 (Mclvor & Burman, 2011: 12) and it was argued that sentencing law failed to look at the major and minor role the offender played. For instance, in a drug offence female offender who committed their first felony may face a mandatory sentence of several years more than they should. Similarly, the prison statistic for England and Wales showed that as of 2013, there are around 30% women prisoners serving jail sentences of more than four years (Berman & Dar, 2011: 6). As the number of female reception into prison have increased rapidly in Scotland, the average length of custodial sentences had also increased, where sentences can be over three months and up to four years or six months and up to two years, it varies according to the type of offences.
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