Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Government

Reader 1

Frederick R. Lynch

Rights Information

© 2013 Subin Kim

Abstract

It is no secret that over the last several decades, prison populations have grown exponentially due to an increasingly “tough on crime” policy stance and war on drugs. Although male offending populations continue to make up the majority of prison inmates nationwide, the fastest growing prison population has actually been female offenders, many who are locked up for nonviolent offenses like drug possession and larceny. Until recently, female offenders have been treated as an afterthought to male-dominated prison statistics. However, further research shows that female offending patterns are starkly different from their male counterparts, and women are contributing to higher recidivism rates because of their unmet needs prior to, during, and after incarceration. Therefore, this paper argues that state and federal governments must institute gender-responsive policies in order to combat stubbornly high recidivism rates through reentry alternatives, especially halfway houses.

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