The needs of women offenders: Implications for correctional programming

Kristy Holtfreter, Merry Morash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Recent corrections research indicates that programs and community services providing assistance and training for women offenders are lacking. Using a sample of 402 female felony offenders, women's needs, including those thought to be criminogenic (i.e., characteristics and circumstances that heighten an individual's recidivism risk), are examined to determine whether certain groups of women possess similar sets of needs. Cluster analysis is used to identify combinations of needs shared within subgroups of female felons. Identification of common and co-occurring needs, particularly those associated with high risk for recidivism, can assist program staff, advocates for women offenders, and correctional administrators in determining what combination of program elements should be available to women, and the degree to which programming must address multiple domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-160
Number of pages24
JournalWomen and Criminal Justice
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 27 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster analysis
  • Correctional programming
  • Risk
  • Women offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Law


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