Title

Treatment of substance-abusing jail inmates: Examination of gender differences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-1997

Keywords

drug abuse, alcohol abuse, women, drug abuse treatment, inmates

Abstract

Females incarcerated for drug-related offenses represent one of the fastest growing populations within jails and prisons. The few studies of female offenders with substance abuse disorders depict a population with multiple psychosocial problems and treatment needs, and one that is characterized by frequent exposure to sexual abuse and other violence. The current study examined intake assessment results from a sample of 1,655 substance-involved jail inmates referred to a jail treatment program in Tampa, Florida, including 26% female and 74% male inmates. The study was designed to identify gender differences in psychosocial characteristics and substance abuse treatment needs among jail inmates. Results indicate that female inmates more frequently experienced employment problems, had lower incomes, more frequently reported cocaine as the primary drug of choice, and were more likely to report depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and a history of physical and sexual abuse. Implications for developing specialized treatment approaches for female offenders are discussed, including use of integrated treatment strategies.

Comments

This research was funded in part by grant No. 87-DD-CX-0035 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and was conducted in Hillsborough County, Florida.