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Drug Abuse and Criminality Among Women in Detention (From Female Offender, P 271-288, 1980, by Curt T Griffiths and Margit Nance - See NCJ-70360)

NCJ Number
B A Miller
Date Published
18 pages
The extent and patterns of drug use among a sample of female offenders are examined, and the relation between varying degrees of drug use and criminal histories is analyzed.
During 1976 and 1977, 101 women were selected from the Philadelphia House of Corrections' admissions roster in such a way as to ensure random selection from all admissions. Semi-structured interviews with the subjects covered personal history, drug abuse, criminal activity and self-report juvenile delinquency. Other data were obtained from official records. The majority of the sample was young (average 28 years), black (76 percent), unmarried (79 percent), and unemployed (84 percent). The drug consumed by the largest percentage (75 percent) was marijuana. Amphetamines and heroin had been consumed by 69 percent and 62 percent respectively. Heroin was the drug consumed on a daily basis by the largest percentage (52 percent). The data suggest that the drug users became heavily involved in substance abuse shortly after being introduced to drugs. For both present arrest charge and prior arrest history, property offenses were more predominant among those with a drug history. When only prior arrest history was considered, a greater percentage of those in the high drug abuse group had arrests for all types of offenses except serious person offenses. These findings lend support to earlier studies that found prostitution, property offenses, and drug offenses common among female drug abusers. The specific issue remaining to be researched is the portion of offenses which were due to the drug abuser's attempts to secure money to support drug use. Tabular data, notes, and six references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70361-74 and 70376-77.


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