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The Relevance of Women’s Economic Marginalization to Recidivism
Criminal Justice and Behavior  (IF2.801),  Pub Date : 2021-08-17, DOI: 10.1177/00938548211039545
Merry Morash, Deborah A. Kashy

This study examines whether changes over time in women’s criminogenic needs, particularly their financial needs, predict recidivism. In a 9-year longitudinal study, 304 women were interviewed repeatedly during 4.5 years after probation/parole began. Women provided data on both their gender-specific and gender-neutral criminogenic needs. Women’s average standing on each need and an index of their change in the need over time were computed and used to predict subsequent recidivism over the 3.4 years after the final interview. Women whose financial needs decreased were less likely to be rearrested and convicted relative to other women. The findings highlight the importance of considering a multifaceted and gender-specific definition of economic marginalization in both theory and practice. At the policy level, there is a need to reduce justice-involved women’s financial needs. In addition, further longitudinal research should be conducted to understand how different type of changes in women’s lives impact recidivism.