GENDER-SPECIFIC REENTRY PLANNING FOR WOMEN
Gender-Specific Reentry Planning for Women
In the recent past, there are researches on women’s experience both within and outside a legal criminal justice system have shown that their experiences are different from the male and a strong relationship between their past trauma history and crime committed. Therefore, women reentry requires special needs, as more or high percentage of them tend to suffers mental and physical problems. Most of the women, unlike men, care most on how they will successfully and fully reunite with their loved ones, sustaining relationship with their intimate partners and family members as well as maintain a suitable lifestyle. It is also important to note that in the past decades the number of female offenders has increased tremendously. Most of the criminal judicial system was designed for the male offenders on the account that women commit fewer and less violent crimes as compared to men offenders.
Correlation of past trauma contribution to a woman’s tendency to become an offender
From recent studies, it has been shown that history of trauma is correlated to the woman’s tendency of engaging in criminal activities or becoming an offender. Women of all works, especially drug addicts and street women, escaping violence or abuse, from abusers who can be their intimate partners or cohabiters are greatly affected both physically and mentally. Such women will surfer depression, fell victimized and be socially withdrawn. Drug histories have a correlation with trauma histories as well as past abuse, and this greatly influences the tendency of women engaging in criminal activities. If a woman has an history of abuse and addicted to drugs, her changes of getting involved in criminal activities is higher as compared to a woman with a happy history. Women criminal mostly carry out criminal activities due to money, so that they can use to purchase drugs and even turn to prostitution. This is attributed to the women offenders past history, such as, past experiences in domestic violence, assault, poverty and sexual abuses(Khajedaluee, Dadgarmoghaddam, Erfanian, Alipourtabrizi, & Khadem-Rezaiyan, 2015). Past history of trauma leads to depression and makes the female offenders to commit crimes and easily get offended and therefore reactive.
Women who have a prior history of abuse have a higher probability to become substance abusers
Women who have had a past history of trauma tend to not only abuse substance, but there also suffer from mental problems and co-occurring substance use(Flórez-Salamanca et al., 2013). Prior history of drug and substance abuse in women offenders put them at a higher risk than men offenders for mental problems and disorders. Past history of trauma in women offenders, makes them depressed and lead to anxiety. This will make them to withdraw from their loved ones as well as friends and start to hate themselves as well as low self-esteem. From the study it has been shown that there is a correlation between past traumatic experiences and psychological distress, and in women offenders the psychological distress and haunting from the past trauma leads to depression and anxiety and this therefore, makes them seek refuge in substance abuse. Women offenders engage in substance use with the aim that they will forget their past history on trauma. Engagement in drug and substance in women offenders is a strategy, a self-medicating strategy, to make them forget their past trauma and fight their anxiety and or depression. Women offenders who abuse substance tend to combat anxiety or depression, that can be due to low self-esteem, and will engage in substance use to increase their sociability.
How could poverty have an effect on women who use drugs or become offenders
Women who use substance or become offenders are highly facilitated and driven by poverty. Women offenders in poverty are exposed to many stressors which can either be severe or chronic within the surrounding community or immediate interactions and these can lead to psychological distress. Women in poverty will find all means to make money to purchase the substance and this can push them to engage in prostitution and other petty crimes so as to get money. Poverty may lead to stress in terms of meeting their wants as well as those for their loved ones, and if they can’t meet their financial needs they resort or engage in criminal activities to raise the money. Women in poverty are more vulnerable to trauma.
Factors to consider while reentry planning for women, and other diverse populations, who have been victims of prior abuse
To efficiently cater for women offender’s reentry, there are several considerations to take into account when planning for their reentry. The following are key considerations;
History of abuse
Relationship status or issues
Self-esteem or self-efficacy
Mental health (including PTSD and depression)
Parental stress (such as number of children, and arrangement if any)
Levels of family conflicts and support
Financial status (poverty)
Safety concerns and vulnerability
Strengths or protective measurers or factors
Flórez-Salamanca, L., Secades-Villa, R., Hasin, D. S., Cottler, L., Wang, S., Grant, B. F., & Blanco, C. (2013). Probability and predictors of transition from abuse to dependence on alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 39(3), 168-179. doi:10.3109/00952990.2013.772618
Khajedaluee, M., Dadgarmoghaddam, M., Erfanian, M., Alipourtabrizi, A., & Khadem-Rezaiyan, M. (2015). Women, drug dependency and consequences: a study from a developing country. Journal of addiction, 2015, 831954-831954. doi:10.1155/2015/831954