Female Reentry and Gender-Responsive Programming: Recommendations for Policy and Practice

Community Supervision: Probation and Parole
Correctional Supervision: Prisons and Jails
Mental Health
Second Chance Month
Substance Use Treatment

Female Reentry and Gender-Responsive Programming cover imageAccording to this article from Dr. Holly Ventura Miller, a professor of criminology and the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida, about 78,000 of the 600,000 individuals released from correctional facilities in the U.S. each year are women, equating to more than 200 every day. 

Although men in reentry significantly outnumber women, Dr. Miller asserts that the challenges confronting women returning from incarceration are formidable and complex, pointing to a need for specialized and appropriate reentry programming. Those challenges upon release can include employment, addiction, mental illness, housing, transportation, family reunification, childcare, parenting, and poor physical health. 

The article, excerpted by the National Institute of Justice from the May/June 2021 issue of Corrections Today, offers a review of the few interventions designed specifically for women and reports on the empirical evidence surrounding these efforts. It also examines the movement toward gender-responsive programming, describes the programs and practices designed specifically for female offenders, and reviews the extant empirical literature related to what works in female reentry. Finally, the author offers recommendations for policy and practice based on the current state of the empirical evidence related to reentry more broadly.

Read the brief (PDF)