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Women Coming Home: Long‐Term Patterns of Recidivism

Problem in the corrections system addressed in the research

According to different studies, most women released from prison tend to fail parole and recidivate more quickly during the follow up period. Most women who succumb to recidivism are those with less schooling, dependant on drugs or possess far-reaching criminal histories. The main objective of the research was to explore the various factors that impact the occurrence and timing of recidivism. The main factors in the research include incarceration experiences, social relationships, community context, and intersection of the factors with race. From the above objective, it is almost certain that correction systems lack intra-gender, theoretical understanding of recidivism. Correctional systems employ imported policies while handling female paroles, which influence their imprisonment experiences. According to the article, there is ample evidence to suggest that women face unique challenges while under correctional supervision.

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According to the research carried out, the findings were in line with the hypothesis. Approximately, most of women in the study sample who recidivated relied on drugs had less education or had previous criminal histories. In the study, one third of the participants were dependent on drugs subsequent to their release from prison. This reliance on drugs not only increases the chances of recidivism but also affects women’s employment opportunities, relationships with their children, and social support. On social relationships, the findings were mixed with the study indicating that pro-social, familial relationships may have a deterrent effect on women. Imprisoned women had difficulties in organizing and managing their families while in and out of prison. Lastly, education and the institutional risk score were significant predicators in the models. For instance, women with a high school degree were less likely to fail on parole (Huebner, DeJong &Cobbina, 2010).

Consequences/ Practical Applications

The use of practical applications in this study enables researchers to understand the experiences women undergo on being released from prison. Practical applications are essential so that the study can relate the practical experiences to the theoretical knowledge in the field. It is not helpful for researchers to base their findings on theoretical knowledge alone. For this reason, it was necessary for the study to encompass the practical applications.


The study had several strengths one of them being the representation of an important step in understanding women’s unique experiences during re-entry. Through the various participants and information, the study verified many strides in the development of gender-specific programs. This study managed to provide information on prison reentry from the perspective of women. Prior studies mainly had information and findings basing on the male paroles. Understanding the unique experiences of women within a longitudinal framework will enhance the theoretical knowledge on reentry and recidivism and help to inform responsive programming for all offenders.


The study made a substantial omission on the impact of victimization which is an indispensable component of women’s pathways to offending and has been linked to parole failure. A major part of the analysis relied on information obtained from official department of corrections records. For this reason, there was no data on victimization experiences, post release marital relationships, and employment for women in the sample. Notable is the absence of measures of the quality and nature of women’s social relationships. In addition, the analysis of race in the study neglects the valuable and unique experiences of Hispanic women and other women of color. This is a weakness because of the growth in the Hispanic population in the USA.

Resources to improve the study

In order for the study to provide better analysis, the correction systems should put in place programs, which monitor the progress of women paroles after their release. Monitoring these women will ensure that study reports accurate findings when it comes to the subject of post-release relationships. Understanding the unique experiences of women will be helpful in improving the theoretical knowledge on recidivism. More so, this information will help inform responsive programming for all offenders and not women alone.


Huebner, M. B., DeJong, C. & Cobbina, J. (2010). Women Coming Home: Long-Term Patterns of Recidivism. Justice Quarterly, 27:2, 225-254.

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