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Women's Pathways to Jail: The Roles & Intersections of Serious Mental Illness & Trauma

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About the Course:

This research study assessed the prevalence of serious mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse disorders in female offenders. This study furthermore examined how onset of different types of criminal activity and delinquency vary as a function of mental health status and trauma exposure. Additionally, the researchers interviewed corrections staff members at participating institutions to assess staff members’ perceptions about the prevalence of mental health difficulties in women in jail as well as staff beliefs about women’s pathways to jail. Understanding female offenders’ pathways to offending, including both risk for onset and risk for continued offending, helps demonstrate the complexity of their experiences and identify risk factors and intervening variables. The findings from this research project have important implications for gender-responsive, trauma-informed programming, including prevention, risk reduction, staff training, and interventions directed toward the rehabilitative needs of justice-involved women and girls.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Women’s Pathways to Jail: The Roles & Intersections of Serious Mental Illness & Trauma created by Shannon M. Lynch, Ph.D., Dana D. DeHart, Ph.D., Joanne Belknap, Ph.D., & Bonnie L. Green, Ph.D. in 2012.

Journal/Publisher:

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA): U.S. Department of Justice

Publication Date:

September 2012

Course Material Author

Shannon M. Lynch, Ph.D., Dana D. DeHart, Ph.D., Joanne Belknap, Ph.D., & Bonnie L. Green, Ph.D.
This multi-site research was funded and published through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice.

Shannon M. Lynch, Ph.D., Dana D. DeHart, Ph.D., Joanne Belknap, Ph.D., & Bonnie L. Green, Ph.D. authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Course Creator

Keith Gibson, Ph.D.
Dr. Gibson is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years in research, clinical and consulting practice. He has also held leadership roles in research administration and program evaluation and more recently has specialized in program evaluation and system analysis. He draws upon his years of expertise as a practicing psychologist, administrator, researcher and technologist to help universities evaluate their programs to implement, meet, and maintain CACREP standards.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about mental illness, PTSD, and substance abuse in female offenders. It is appropriate for all levels of participants' knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the prevalence of serious mental illness, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders in female offenders.
  2. Describe the relationships between trauma/victimization, mental illness, substance use, and offending in women.
  3. Describe the perspectives of correctional staff regarding the roles of mental illness, trauma/victimization, and history of substance use in female offenders, as well as the concerns and recommendations of correctional staff.
  4. Discuss the implications of this research for gender-responsive, trauma-informed programming, including prevention, risk reduction, staff training, and interventions directed toward the rehabilitative needs of justice-involved women and girls.

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Course Retired
Course Number 102134
3 CE credit hours
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $17.91
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