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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
2-Aug-2013

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Contact: Camille Gamboa
camille.gamboa@sagepub.com
805-411-07441
SAGE Publications

Why is orange the new black for female victims of trauma?

New study explores the pathways that lead to jail time for women

Los Angeles, CA (August 2, 2013) How do pathways to jail vary for females who are victims of specific types of trauma? New research published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a SAGE journal, pinpoints the types of trauma such as caregiver violence, witnessing violence, and intimate partner violence, that lead to specific types of offending later in life and offers explanations based on real experiences.

Researchers Dana DeHart, Shannon Lynch, Joanne Belknap, and Bonnie Green conducted life-history interviews with 115 female inmates from five U.S. states and found the following patterns:

The researchers wrote, "The research is critical to development of gender-responsive programming, alternatives to incarceration, and problem-solving court initiatives that address girls' and women's specific needs."

The researchers also found that the women they interviewed had high rates of mental health disorders, especially serious mental illnesses (50%) such as major depression, bipolar disorders, or psychotic spectrum disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder (51%), and/or substance use disorder (85%).

"Existing studies note that many offenders with serious mental illness are not identified as mentally ill upon entry into the system," the authors wrote. "Given that mental health problems in offenders are linked to greater likelihood of violent crimes, longer sentences, rule violations, and physical assaults in the corrections environment, greater knowledge and understanding of these offenders and their needs is critical for the success of behavioral health treatment programs, jail management, and correctional staff safety."

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For an embargoed copy of the article "Life-History Models of Female Offending: The Roles of Serious Mental Illness and Trauma in Women's Pathways to Jail," in Psychology of Women Quarterly, please email camille.gamboa@sagepub.com

Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ) is a feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal that publishes empirical research, critical reviews and theoretical articles that advance a field of inquiry, brief reports on timely topics, teaching briefs, and invited book reviews related to the psychology of women and gender.
Impact Factor: 1.818
Ranked: 2 out of 38 in Women's Studies and 34 out of 126 in Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Source: 2012 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2013)

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. http://www.sagepublications.com



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