Department of Justice

Female offenders should not be continued to be incarcerated for performing non-violent crimes because research has shown those majority of these individuals carry a poor history with regards to personal and social conditions. It has been determined that incarcerated female offender were also victims of violence or victimization in their previous lives. In addition to their poor past, these incarcerated female offenders are also subjected to additional violence during incarceration, in the form of physical and sexual abuse.

It is thus important that female offenders that are incarcerated for non-violent crimes be released after serving the appointed sentence because they also deserve to live a simple life that is far away from violence and abuse. There is documentation that there is a heightened frequency of physical and sexual abuse of female offenders in jail as compared to the violence and abuse that exists out on the streets.

It is therefore important to assess the nature of each female offender’s behavior and personality, so that the female offenders that are less likely to repeat the crime they committed should be released from jail. It is also important to examine the impact of the crime and the appointed sentence on the female offender. If the female offender is observed to be truly and sincerely regretful that she committed an unlawful act and has served or completed the appointed sentence, she should then afterwards be released in order to keep her away from the continuous violence and abuse that regularly occurs in jails.

The relationships of the female offender who is incarcerated should also be assessed, in order to determine whether the female offender is at risk to higher forms of violence and abuse within the premises of the prison and if such condition is worse than the appointed sentence, she should be released (Stark and Flitcraft, 1996). If not, the female offender may be kept in jail for the rest of the appointed sentence. Research has validated that violence in the lives of women may significantly contributes to their involvement in performing illegal acts.

In addition, the occurrence of domestic violence or sex abuse also influences a female offender’s abuse while kept in prison. Female offenders should not be kept incarcerated for non-violent crimes because there is still a need to comprehensively analyze particular populations in order to perform studies on the interactions between different kinds of violence against females. This is typified in a setting wherein females are marginalized such as that observed among females of a particular ethnic group and are at the same time situated in the lowest income group.

These females are generally observed to suffer from problems of drug abuse and are thus more vulnerable to criminal acts and physical and sexual abuses. There is also a need to examine the impact of abuse against females as well as the modes in which such abuse sways females to participate in illegal activities such as drug and sex trafficking. While there is no improved program for intervention that may possibly reduce the occurrence of violence against females, these incarcerated female offenders should not be kept in prison.

There is also a need to design gender-specific routes of analysis that would benefit in generating more information that would lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms why female offenders were influenced to perform such illegal acts. The needs of females are known to be different from the needs of males hence the insufficiency of specific requirements of females should be addressed, in order to determine why they were pushed to participate in criminal acts.

It is also easier for females than males to make life changes hence if the proper rehabilitees and programming were provided in prisons, a renewed female may emerge from prison and there is no need to prolong their stay in prison, especially when they only committed a non-violent crime such as sex or drug trafficking. Female offenders should not be incarcerated because there is also a need to improve the entry process into prisons. It is obvious that working as a prostitute is not as grave as killing a human being, yet these criminal both end up in jail.

It is better that offenders of non-violent crimes be rehabilitated for a specific duration of time and rehabilitated in order for them to continue on with their lives after these programs. Policies related to arrest and imprisonment of female offenders of non-violent crimes should be developed that would be beneficial to both the public and the female offender her self. There is a need for more research on violence, especially on the viewpoint of a female, because there are gender-related differences that exist.

Any information that may originate from these research efforts may possibly reduce the frequency of violence against females, which in turn influences the rates of non-violent crimes that are committed by females. In addition, females that are at risk to violence and abuse may be trained to avoid and prevent such circumstances, which also regulate the future instances of crime that may have been committed by females. References Freudenberg N, Wilets I and Greene M (1998): Linking women in jail to community services: Factors associated with rearrest and retention of drug-using women following release from jail.

Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association 53(2):89–93. Graham DLR, Rawlings EI and Rigsby RK (1994): Loving to survive: Sexual terror, men’s violence, and women’s lives. New York: University Press. Mumola CJ and Beck AJ (1997): Prisoners in 1996, Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 5, NCJ 164619. Stark E and Flitcraft A (1996): Women at risk: Domestic violence and women’s health, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2000): Poverty Report 2000: Overcoming Human Poverty.