Effects of Juvenile Females in Prison

This paper strives to show the effects of females in prison—particularly teenagers. By searching the Internet and through library searches, my hope is demonstrating the issues raised for this group and what they do to survive in this environment. Being able to see what this population goes through may serve a purpose in determining solutions to getting them out of prison and becoming productive members of society. Female Prisoners 3 Being locked up in prison has no redeeming value except providing a reality check to lawbreakers. Male prisoners can find ways to get help.

What about the female side of the cell? What issues are being raised when the spotlight shines on them? The answer is still being determined. Not much is known inside prison walls for women. Few studies have been performed where the women let researchers know what is happening inside their “home. ” What investigators know so far is the younger set are more concerned about their short-term well being as opposed to long-range outcomes. (Douglas and Plugge, 2008, p. 66). That could be because of fear, lack of resources or the knowledge to ask.

One component of this study is that the number of juvenile female offenders is rising. According to the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation 2004 figures, more than one in five women under the age of 18 were in prison for violent behavior (NCJRS, 2009, p. 1) This may have been attributed to several factors, including substance abuse, spousal abuse and mental illness. (NCJRS, 2009, p. 1) Where incarcerated females live may also be a factor. California, Texas and Florida house more juvenile female prisoners than in other states (NJCRS Facts, 2009, p. 1).

Even in 1995, the number of female prisoners increased eight-tenths of one percent, to 6. 9 percent of the entire prison population. (NJCRS Facts, 2009, p. 1) Research also showed that women who were initially jailed for various crimes often found themselves back in prison within a few years. Nearly three in five women were re-arrested after three years of their release. Clearly, not enough is being down to help those who desperately need assistance. That assistance is apparently not coming fast enough for some. During a conference on Female Prisoners 4

female offenders, Libby Deschenes and Barbara Owen looked toward the future of like outcomes. They found over a three-year span that women who were not adjusted to their out-of-prison surroundings and did not have a support system in place were more likely to wind up back in prison. (Deschenes, 2009, p. 1) That statement runs parallel with the FBI’s own findings. The agency found years later that female prisoners who are ill-equipped to handle life outside or jail are more likely to return. (NJCRS Facts, 2009. p. 1) One alternative for juvenile offenders is boot camp.

Prisoners spend time receiving intensive training from “drill sergeants” in hopes that person will reform their behavior. Some people believe the camps work because it instills a set of standards—albeit rigorous—for attendees to follow. Other people think the camps go too far in disciplining people because the instructors take their position a little too seriously (Richman, 2009, p. 1) Whichever position taken in this subject, there is sure to be lively conversation. Opponents feel the boot camps do not deter juveniles. They cite four out of every five people who entered a boot camp ended up back in prison.

(Richman, 2009. p. 1) That is not counting the psychological warfare instructors use to keep their edge over their subjects, according to opponents. (Richman, 2009, p. 1) Even the U. S. Department of Justice saw an increase in female detainees during a ten-year period. They found the number of female prisoners increased from 25 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2005, the most recent figures available. It runs pretty well through ethnic lines. The figures went down slightly for White female prisoners (58 percent to 57 percent) and up for African-Americans (38 percent to 41 percent during the same time period).

(USDOJ, 2009. p. 1) Female Prisoners 5 References Deschenes, L. and Owen, B. “Recidivism of Female Prisoners: Predicting Future Offending. ” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Royal York, Toronto <Not Available>. May 25, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from: http://www. allacademic. com/meta/p32086_index. html Douglas, N. and Plugge, E. “The health needs have imprisoned female juvenile offenders: The views of the young women prisoners and youth justice professionals. ” International Journal of Prisoner Health.

Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford Department of Public Health, vol. 4 issue 2, pp. 66-75, June 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2009 from: http://www. informaworld. com/smpp/2004779162-90382638/content~content=a792923710~db=all~order=page Hockenberry, S. “Person Offense Cases in Juvenile Court, 2005. ” U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and prevention Programs. June 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from: http://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/224537. pdf No author provided. “Women & Girls in the Criminal Justice System.

” National Criminal Justice Reference Service, May 20, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009 from: http://www. ncjrs. gov/spotlight/wgcjs/Summary. html No author provided. “Women & Girls in the Criminal Justice System – Facts and Figures” National Criminal Justice Reference Service. March 16, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009 from: http://www. ncjrs. gov/spotlight/wgcjs/facts. html Richman, A. “Juvenile Justice e-Newsletter, American Bar Association, no. 3, June 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from: http://www. abanet. org/crimjust/juvjust/newsletterjune09/june09/newsletterframe. htm