What is it about?

Women's age, ethnicity, offence type and history of incarceration can be risk factors for reoffending. We have shown how these factors influence women by investigating a sample of 1,035 female offenders in Queensland, Australia. We found that 50% of women reoffended in their first year post-release. Using two types of analysis we show that violent offenders are considerably more likely to reoffend and older offenders are less likely to be recidivists; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders were also more likely to reoffend. Finally, for every day spent in custody the likelihood of reoffending increases (as does the speed with which women return to custody).

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that there are groups of women who are particularly at risk for reoffending and a speedy return to custody. Thus, younger offenders, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, those with a history of violent crimes and long histories of prior incarceration are most vulnerable to reoffending. This can inform correctional policies to ensure women presenting these risk factors can be identified and provided increased mechanisms of support both pre and post-release to support their efforts to stop offending and remain in the community for longer periods of time.


Writing this article was a great pleasure as it has co-authors from whom I have received great mentorship and support.

Kathleen De Rooy
University of Queensland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Women Released From Custody: Investigating Risk Factors and Reoffending, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, May 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0306624x19845778.
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