Mary E. O'Connell, Amy Farrell, Daniel P. LeClair
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Law, Policy, and Society Program.
Criminology, Female offenders, Recidivism, Relational theory
Female offenders--Rehabilitation--Massachusetts, Female offenders--Government policy--Massachusetts, Women prisoners--Services for--Massachusetts
Law and Society
Women in the United States are being incarcerated in record numbers, despite a profile indicating that they are largely nonviolent offenders who turn to substance abuse and crime as coping mechanisms after suffering victimization. Using relational theory as its conceptual framework, this study evaluates a gender-specific correctional program for female offenders. Relational theory posits that healthy female psychological development arises from connection to others. When that connection is damaged by trauma and abuse, a dominant characteristic among female offenders, some women enter a downward spiral marked by addiction to substances and criminal deviance. To examine this phenomenon, quantitative data analysis is used to measure the post-release outcomes of 380 Women in Transition program participants over an 18-month follow-up period. Logistic regression confirmed findings generated from bivariate analyses suggesting that age, criminal history, and program completion are predictive factors for successful reintegration. Qualitative data gathered through staff and inmate focus groups advance the proposition that the Women in Transition program is sensitive to the relational needs of its participants and might be an additional factor in reducing future offending.
Mary Ellen Mastrorilli
Mastrorilli, Mary Ellen, "The women in transition program: application of relational theory to an evaluation of a minimum security correctional center for female offenders" (2008). Law, Policy, and Society Dissertations. Paper 13. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10016296
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