The 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Crime in the United States, 2012 (n.d.), indicates that females accounted for about 26.2% of arrestees for 2012. The mid-year 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics (Minton, 2011) report also indicates that 12.3% of incarcerated offenders were female. While these numbers are rather small compared to male offenders’ rates, there has been a significant increase in these percentages in recent years. Some criminologists argue that accompanying this increase is a fundamental change in the nature and the extent of female offending, while others suggest that there is no fundamental change in female offending but, rather, a shift in society’s perception of particular crimes associated with female offenders. Vigorous prosecution of petty crimes, for example, may be at the root of the increase in numbers of female offenders in recent years. This leaves open the possibility that female offenders have, like males, been engaging in criminal behavior, but only recently held accountable at a comparable rate.
Although there is much debate on both sides of the argument about whether there is a significant difference in male and female criminal behavior, how society views gender roles certainly affects how female offenders are perceived. While there appears to be no definitive answer as to whether male and female offenders are significantly different, the question is far from moot, as the potential difference affects how crime prevention and treatment programs are crafted and whether differences that influence criminal behavior may be addressed.
For this Assignment review the article, “Understanding the Female Offender,” and consider the primary causes of female offending. Then, review the online summary, “Women and Girls in the Criminal Justice System,” focusing on the risk factors associated with criminal behavior of female offenders. Also consider how crime prevention and treatment may differ for male and female offenders.
Assignment (1–2 pages):
- Briefly describe characteristics associated with female and male offenders.
- Compare (similarities and differences) of female and male offenders.
- Based upon your comparison, draw at least one conclusion about the psychology, characteristics, and behaviors of female and male offenders.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the resources for this course.