The Substance Use and Mental Health Leadership Council of Rhode Island - New England Region 1: Advanced Work with Justice Involved Women - Part 1 and 2
The presence of female offenders in the correctional population within the nations criminal justice system has been expanding at a rate that far outweighs their male counterparts. Historically, correctional institutions are designed to serve the predominately male offender populations and agencies in the community have not addressed the multifaceted problems that form the context for women’s criminal behavior. Women are released from correctional supervision without the tools to help them live responsibly in the community. Like their male counterparts, most female offenders are poor, under-educated, unemployed and unskilled. However, women enter the criminal justice system with unique needs that distinguishes them from male offenders. Addiction, poverty, unemployment, physical and mental illness, sexual abuse and violence often traps women in a cycle of hopelessness and crime. Additionally, the separation caused by incarceration has a damaging effect on children of female prisoners, who often become the innocent victims of the criminal justice system. Participants will identify key strategies and emerging issues of female offenders and the family that is useful in developing effective programming to address the unique and challenging needs of women offenders. Special emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of management and risk reduction strategies that consider the different characteristics of female offenders.