Predicting the prison misconducts of women offenders: The importance of gender-responsive needs

Emily M. Wright, Emily J. Salisbury, Patricia Van Voorhis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


The needs of women offenders may be qualitatively different than the needs of male offenders. The "pathways" and "gender-responsive" perspectives of female offending have recently garnered attention in both practitioner and scholarly arenas. The pathways perspective focuses attention on the co-occurrence and effects of trauma, substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and mental illness on female offending, while the gender-responsive perspective also suggests that problems related to parenting, childcare, and self-concept issues are important needs of women offenders. Few studies have examined whether or not these are risk factors for poor prison adjustment. With a sample of 272 incarcerated women offenders in Missouri, we examine how each gender-responsive need is related to six- and twelve-month prison misconducts, and whether the inclusion of such needs to traditional static custody classification items increases the predictive validity of such tools. Results suggest that women offenders do, in fact, display gender-responsive risk factors in prison.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-340
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Correctional classification
  • Criminogenic needs
  • Gender-responsive
  • Needs
  • Risk factors
  • Women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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