Australian Institute of Criminology

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Drugs and crime : a study of incarcerated female offenders

Research and public policy series no. 63

Holly Johnson
ISBN 0 642 53861 1 ISSN 1326-6004
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, January 2004

Abstract

The Australian Institute of Criminology is undertaking research on the drug use careers of adult males, females and juveniles incarcerated in Australian prisons. The objective of the Drug Use Careers of Offenders (DUCO) female study is to contribute to the empirical evidence about the interaction between drug use and criminal offending among incarcerated women. This monograph presents findings from the DUCO female study, which was based on interviews with 470 women incarcerated in Australian prisons. Findings are presented on offending histories, drug use, links between drug and alcohol use and crime, temporal order of drug use and offending, and risk factors for drug use and offending. The results demonstrate important differences in the patterns of drug use of women as compared to men. Understanding patterns in offending and drug use, and the connection between the two, may assist in the development of interventions and crime reduction strategies for women offenders.