U.S. flag

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

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Women's Criminality in Poland (From Female Offender, P 51-67, 1980, by Curt T Griffiths and Margit Nance - See NCJ-70360)

NCJ Number
D Plenska
Date Published
17 pages
Polish women's socioeconomic status, features of Polish women's criminality over the last three decades, and the implications of Polish women's emancipation for their criminality are discussed.
The emancipation of Polish women started soon after the Second World War with their massive entrance into the labor force; cultural and psychological changes have not accompanied the occupational liberation of women. Sterotyped roles for women in the family and social behavior are still cultivated. There was an increase in the ratio of women's criminality in the 1950's as compared to the ratio in the 1920's and 30's. Then there was a steady decrease which, from the 60's, has gone below the level observed in the prewar period (a decrease of 250 percent in female crime between 1951 and 1977). Some of the explanations for this decrease are more lenient prosecution of minor economic offenses, strong cultural pressure against women drinking alcoholic beverages, and the orientation of the penal code toward violent crimes, property offenses, and traffic offenses, which are rarely committed by women. Other factors affecting the decrease in female criminality are the legalization of abortion since 1956, the decriminalization of 'morals' offenses, and reduction in the opportunities for shoplifting. Also, socioeconomic emancipation, which has diminished women's feelings of dependence, frustration, helplessness, and victimization, has tended to reduce women's violent crimes, such as homicide, infanticide, and assault. Women are involved in 75 percent of the economic and property offenses, which are generally related to the professional, vocational roles of women. Tabular data are provided, but references are not included. For related documents, see NCJ 70361-62 and 70364-77.