Incarcerated Female Offenders

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Incarcerated Female Offenders

Incarcerated Female Offenders


About twenty years ago, the female population in the prisons of Iowa as low as 4%. The female offenders now make up about 9% of the population of the prisons in Iowa. It is estimated that in the next ten years, the female population in the prisons will increase to 10% of the total population in the prisons. The population of female offenders in prisons is growing at a much faster rate than the male offenders. Between the years 1995-2004, the population of female offenders in prison increased by more than 53% in the United States of America. The male population in the prison was 31% during the same years. Criminologists insist that the number of female offenders represent not more than a fraction of the crimes that are committed in the society. If we look at the actual figures and statistics, we can see that the number is not such a small one. The number of female criminals and offenders is increasing at an alarming rate. Some of the women who are found to be involved in crimes act out under the surveillance of men, while some of the women also initiate and commit crimes on their own. According to the most recent data available of the percentage of women in prisons for different crime reveals that the highest number of women in prison is for the crimes that area drug related. Out of all the women imprisoned, 37% are held on charges of drug related crimes. Drugs and crimes are linked in a number of ways. The selling, production and the use of drugs are in itself a crime. Threats and violence are the by-products of the drug system. Crimes are committed under the influence of drugs, or during the process of distributing the drugs (White & Gorman 2000). Drugs can lead a person to crimes. Conversely, crimes can also lead a person to start taking drugs and get into offences related to drugs. More than 80% of the women who were held for different charges in the prisons tested positive for drugs. Researchers have consistently found that the women offenders have a problem of drug abuse. There is a correlative relationship between women's offending and reoffending and the substance use. The use of drugs shapes way for women to get into offences related to drugs. A large number of community groups who work with women prisoners also report that there is a strong connection between drug abuse, drug offences and the imprisonment of women. This paper will throw light in the female offenders who are held in the prisons for drug related crimes.


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