Female Involvement in Crime Growing: Crime News

Crime News from Crime in America.Net

While crime throughout the country decreases and prison populations begin to level off, it’s disconcerting to see a rise in criminal activity among girls and women.

Women offenders have unique issues; US Department of Justice data indicate that female offenders come from very troubled backgrounds with higher rates of mental health and substance abuse issues.

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics: “….about 60 percent of female state prison inmates reported having experienced physical or sexual abuse prior to their incarceration about a third had been abused by an intimate, and a quarter by a family member. An estimated 80 percent of the women in state prisons were either recidivists or had a current conviction for violence.”

With the data at hand, we within the criminal justice system often wondered why women offenders were not more involved in criminal activity, especially when considering that 60 to 70 percent of incarcerated women are responsible for children upon release from prison.

Crime and offending are still an overwhelmingly male experience, but new data regarding women offenders is a cause for concern.

We strongly believe that there needs to be more research on women and crime and there needs to be more programs devoted to the special needs of female offenders.

We believe that the statistics on women offenders and prior physical and sexual abuse is shocking and is widely ignored by society.

Overall, we believe that child abuse and crime are strongly connected, see http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/02/15/do-decreases-in-child-abuse-explain-decreases-in-violent-crime-crime-news/.

The following data is liberally rearranged and extracted from US Department of Justice agency research (underlined data is our emphasis added):

 Female Arrest Rates

Arrest for males increased 0.6 percent from 2004 to 2008. Arrests for females increased 5.1 percent from 2004 to 2008.

But arrests are still principally a male-related event. Arrests of males accounted for the following: 75.5 percent of all persons arrested; 81.7 percent of persons arrested for violent crime; and 65.2 percent of persons arrested for property crime.

 Female Incarceration Rates

An estimated 207,700 women were held in prison or jails at midyear 2008, up 33 percent since midyear 2000.

Since yearend 2000, the nation’s prison and jail custody populations have increased by 373,502 inmates (or 19 percent) for all offenders.


Female Juvenile Arrests

In 1980, females represented 11 percent of juvenile arrests for violent offenses. By 2000, that proportion had grown to 18 percent, and by 2004 it had risen to 30 percent. Even though arrest numbers remained higher for boys than girls during that period, arrest rates for girls increased while rates for boys decreased. This increase in girls’ arrest rates caused juvenile justice specialists to question why girls were becoming more involved in delinquency.

Of particular interest was the question of whether girls were becoming more violent or if other factors contributed to their higher arrest rates. However, since most research on juveniles had been conducted on boys, the juvenile justice research community was unable to account for the increase in girls’ arrest rates.

Although a number of delinquency risk factors affect both boys and girls—such as family dynamics, school involvement, neighborhood environment, and other factors directly increase a girl’s risk of delinquency. These risk factors include early onset of puberty, sexual abuse or maltreatment, and depression and anxiety.

Researchers also found that a number of protective factors exist to prevent girls from becoming juvenile offenders even when faced with risk factors.

These protective factors include the involvement of a caring adult, school connectedness, school success, and religiosity.




  1. paul kimani kinge says:

    I am very much interested on research in women involvement in crime.


  1. doug pitassi says:

    doug pitassi

    Female Involvement in Crime Growing: Crime News

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