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Relationship Between Female Criminality and Drug Use

NCJ Number
International Journal of the Addictions Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: (1979) Pages: 215-229
J James; C Gosho; R W Wohl
Date Published
15 pages
A 2-year study of female addicts, prostitute-addicts, prostitutes, and female offenders reveals that the link between female criminal activity and female drug involvement is significant.
The results reported here are from a comprehensive study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, of 268 female offenders, conducted between 1974 and 1976. The juvenile arrests and criminal and drug histories of all four categories are remarkably similar, in striking contrast to the adult histories. Neither their early experience with the criminal justice system nor their early criminal activities explain their later emphases on opiate drugs, non-narcotic drugs, prostitution, or other criminal lifestyles. All four groups report 'drug costs' as a major percentage of their monthly expenses. Prostitutes and female offenders report most of their income as coming from drugs sales, shoplifting, and larceny. For all of the women addicted to heroin, reselling drugs and prostitution were the usual means of support. There is insufficient evidence at this stage of research to link the use of a specific category of drugs to specific types of offenses. The main determinants in choice of crime for these subjects were skill and opportunity. Eleven tables and nine references are appended. (Author abstract modified)


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