This paper discusses trends in the incarceration of women and intervention programs available to women in prison. The data demonstrate that incarceration rates for women have been increasing over the last decade and that women are often imprisoned for property, violence and drug offences. Correctional facilities in Australia, in common with many other jurisdictions, administer programs that address offending behaviour. Such programs, especially those dealing with behavioural and drug issues, are vital if prisons are to reduce recidivism.
Currently, there is considerable interest and creativity in the design and delivery of interventions for prisoners with drug abuse problems. However, although women are often unemployed at the time of incarceration and tend to be poorly educated, comparatively little attention is paid to employment and education programs. Engagement in education and employment are important for reducing recidivism.
This paper examines drug intervention programs and employment and education programs for women and finds that they are often delivered without consideration of their effectiveness.