Research has consistently shown that most women under the control of the criminal justice system are mothers. The robustness of this finding has been accompanied by a failure to consider the characteristics and needs of women without children. In this study, we examine data on 1,334 formerly incarcerated women. Findings indicate that while mothers and non-mothers share some characteristics, they differ on several others, most notably demographic profile, mental health, and timing of contacts with the criminal justice system. These results suggest a need to recognize the diversity among women offender groups, particularly when developing policies and programs need.
- mental health
- women in prison