U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Women and the Drugs-Crime Connection: Crime Rates Among Drug Abusing Women at Rikers Island

NCJ Number
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Volume: 19 Issue: 2 Dated: (April-June 1987) Pages: 205-216
Date Published
12 pages
The relationship between crime rates and extent and type of drug abuse was investigated in a 1983 study of 175 female inmates of the Rikers Island Correctional Facility (New York).
The typical respondent was nonwhite, poor, a high school dropout, a mother, and previously involved with the law. The vast majority (85 percent) of respondents used heroin or cocaine, and a majority of these subjects used drugs daily. Educational level, ethnicity, presenting charge, and age were not significantly related to crime rates. Crime rates were significantly higher among drug users than among nonusers and were higher among heroin and/or cocaine users than among those who used other illegal substances. Mean rates of violent crime were low among all subjects. Finally, cocaine and cocaine/heroin users comprised the largest subgroup of subjects in the sample, and once-daily cocaine/heroin users showed higher offense rates than did multiple-daily users, irregular users, or nonusers. 9 tables and 36 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1987