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Behav Modif. 2000 Jul;24(3):307-24.

Characteristics of women in jail and treatment orientations. A review.

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Isaac Ray Center, Section on Psychiatry & Law at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, USA.


Women who have been incarcerated are a high-risk group for criminal recidivism, and criminal justice statistics indicate that females are increasing in numbers more rapidly than the male detainee population. According to data from epidemiologic studies, incarcerated women are often young, single, mothers from ethnic minority backgrounds who have little education and poor work histories. Mental illness, drug abuse, and risky behaviors relating to contracting HIV/AIDS are common problems among female detainees. In this report, research into characteristics of women in jail and literature relating to treatment programs for incarcerated women are reviewed. Implications relating to treatment needs, program development, and further research are discussed. A case example and treatment intervention are presented based on this review.

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