An examination of risk and resiliency factors in predicting recidivism rates among incarcerated women

Dawn M Salgado, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

Despite evidence suggesting that the numbers of women in correctional institutions is increasing (U.S. Department of Justice, 1999) and that over 2/3 of women released from prison will return (U.S. Department of Justice, 2002), few studies have examined the influence of various risk and resiliency factors in predicting recidivism rates among incarcerated women. Data for the current study were collected from 234 incarcerated women serving in a northeastern state correctional facility between 1997 and 1999 as part of a larger project examining the discharge planning process (see Quina, 2001). ^ Descriptive statistics derived from the initial item analysis and scale development, were followed by a series of logistic regressions. Predictors of recidivism examined included background (e.g., demographics, family of origin environment) and adult pre-incarceration risk factors (e.g., previous sentences, victimization, substance use), as well as in-prison resiliency items (e.g., help-seeking, program involvements, self-perceptions regarding future change). Results suggest that while family of origin environment variables were not directly predictive of recidivism, child sexual abuse, the lack of family support during childhood, and exposure to the correctional system through friends and family members all served as moderators between preincarceration risk factors and recidivism.^ Total program participation was the only in prison resiliency factor related to decreased probability of recidivism within six months. Interactions between family of origin environment, adult preincarceration risk factors, and resiliency factors were also found. For women who reported not experiencing sexual abuse during childhood, self-perceptions related to making positive changes once released was associated with decreased recidivism. Among those women reporting high levels of family support during childhood, increased program involvement resulted in decreased recidivism. Results are discussed within a developmental, ecological/multilevel framework, paying particular attention to ways in which findings can inform larger policy issues pertaining to women in prison.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Women's Studies|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Dawn M Salgado, "An examination of risk and resiliency factors in predicting recidivism rates among incarcerated women" (2007). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3280553.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3280553

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