Op/Ed: Women Offenders Over Half Of Violent Females Were Arrested Within 5 Years Of Release


Women Offenders Over Half Of Violent Females Were Arrested Within 5 Years Of Release. The following article has been written by Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. It includes editorial content which is the opinion and story of the writer.


More than half of females (55%, compared to 66% of males) who were serving time for a violent offense were arrested for another offense. If you add criminal histories, the percentage of those violent would be much higher.

The rate of substance abuse, sexual violence, and mental health problems for female offenders is astounding.


Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.

Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of directing award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of Criminology and Public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Former advisor to the “McGruff-Take a Bite Out of Crime” national media campaign. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Former police officer. Aspiring drummer.

Author of ”Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.

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This article focuses on violent female recidivism after release from prison. But I would be remiss if I didn’t provide some information (for context) as to the experiences of female offenders before they came to the justice system.

I interviewed a lot of female offenders throughout my justice career, many for my television and radio shows and podcasts. Female offenders are far more forthcoming than males. They express their opinions freely.

I had a group of female inmates do my press clippings when I was director of public information for the Maryland Department of Public Safety. They were so good, they started to do media analysis and provided policy recommendations. They were so proficient, they began to offer the same services to other government agencies.

We used a pre-release center for women for media training of employees because they had a culinary arts program thus free food for participants. During a two-hour break, I was in discussion with a group of thirty female residents who told me that for the first time in their lives, they were properly fed, educated, received decent medical care, and obtained a trade. They told me that they felt safer in a correctional facility than life outside.

LET Radio Show and Podcast

The evidence of the physical and sexual abuse of female offenders is considerable. The overwhelming majority of women in prison are survivors of domestic violence. Three-quarters have histories of severe physical abuse by an intimate partner during adulthood, and 82% suffered serious physical or sexual abuse as children, Correctional Association of New York.

Violent Offender Recidivism

Violent offenders recidivated at a higher rate than non-violent offenders. Over an eight-year follow-up period, nearly two-thirds (63.8%) of violent offenders released in 2010 were rearrested, compared to more than one-third (38.4%) of non-violent offenders. Even higher rates of recidivism apply to firearm offenders.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics Report-Female Offender Recidivism

The Bureau of Justice Statistics announced the release of Recidivism of Females Released from State Prison, 2012–2017.

During the 5 years after their release in 2012, more than half of females (55%, compared to 66% of males) who were serving time for a violent offense were arrested for another offense, while more than a third (38%, compared to 49% of males) had a new conviction for any offense, and about a fourth (27%, compared to 43% of males) were returned to prison.

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About 7 in 10 (69%) females released in 2012 were serving time for a property or drug offense, compared to about 5 in 10 (52%) males. The percentage of females who returned to prison within 5 years was higher among those serving time for a property offense (38%) than a violent offense (27%).

Overall, females (16%) were less likely than males (30%) to be arrested for a violent offense within 5 years of their 2012 release. Additionally, females (12%) were less likely than males (23%) to be arrested for assault.

However, females were more likely than males to be arrested for larceny (26% of females and 21% of males) and fraud or forgery (12% of females and 9% of males).


Bureau of Justice Statistics

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The rate of substance abuse, mental health problems, and sexual assault for female offenders is astounding. Virtually all told me that they have no idea why they are still alive.

There is a constant reference to the harshness of correctional facilities and how they negatively impact the lives of inmates.

But, the mental health and substance abuse problems for female inmates were many years in the making before they ever came to the justice system. The system didn’t sexually abuse them as children. The justice system didn’t subject them to child abuse and neglect. The system didn’t beat the hell out of them while they were in their communities.

What I describe is a common experience for many if not most women in the correctional system.

See More

See more articles on crime and justice at Crime in America.

Most Dangerous Cities/States/Countries at Most Dangerous Cities.

US Crime Rates at Nationwide Crime Rates.

National Offender Recidivism Rates at Offender Recidivism.

The Crime in America.Net RSS feed (https://crimeinamerica.net/?feed=rss2) provides subscribers with a means to stay informed about the latest news, publications, and other announcements from the site.




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