Predictors of recidivism in a sample of high-risk, jailed women

Celeste M Caviness, University of Rhode Island


Female inmates are a significant and growing population, and are arrested and re-arrested at alarmingly high rates. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of jail recidivism in a sample of 245 hazardously drinking incarcerated women. Negative binomial regression was used to test a comprehensive set of predictors, controlling for important covariates. In the six month study period, 43.67% of participants had been re-arrested at least once. Re-arrest was positively predicted by having a sex related charge (z=2.02, p=.044). Total at risk days was negatively predictive (z =-2.10, p=.035). Drug use severity was moderately positively predictive (z=1.88, p=.060). While no other predictor variables were significant, social support was found to moderate self-control (z=2.27, p=.023), where higher levels of social support interacted significantly with lower levels of self-control to predict recidivism. Findings from this study highlight the extremely high rates of re-arrest in a sample of high-risk jailed women. Targeting commercial sex workers and those using drugs with adequate and effective case management following release could be an important step in reducing recidivism in this population.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Womens studies|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Celeste M Caviness, "Predictors of recidivism in a sample of high-risk, jailed women" (2011). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1491264.