Monday, September 15, 2014

Gender Similarities and Differences Among a Sample of Jail Detainees

Katanya K. Goswell, Fielding's School of Psychology

Individual factors such as gender, age, prior mental health and substance abuse treatment, and rates of intoxication at the time of offense were examined among a sample of male and female adult detainees at a regional jail in the Southeastern United States. Additional factors investigated include current charges, alcohol or drug use at time of offense, and number of prior arrests. While large bodies of literature exist on crime, gender, and drug use, less is known about jail detainees across these and other variables such as prior treatment histories, current charges, or number of prior arrests. Detainees completed a self-report measure examining demographic, treatment history, and crime variables. Results showed that female detainees received significantly higher rates of prior mental health treatment than did male detainees but no differences were found in terms of prior substance abuse treatment history. There was a significant effect for having prior mental health treatment and a prior substance abuse treatment history on number of prior arrests. A significant relationship was found between being under the influence at the time of offense and having received prior substance abuse treatment. A significant association was also found between age and number of prior arrests suggesting that in this sample, as age increases, the number of prior arrests decreases. Limitations of the study as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: detainees, jail, gender, alcohol, substance abuse, intoxication, age, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment

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