Recidivism is the reiteration of the same crime or mistake. The concept also refers to the voluntary repetition of an act. In a broad sense, recidivism is considered to be the commission of a new crime, when another one or others have been committed previously. Travers, Wakeling, Mann, & Hollin (2011) conducted a research on the dynamic predictors of reconviction for women. The research findings showed that life prior to the imprisonment of these women was characterized by having suffered an irregular childhood and a youth in conflict with the norm, often confronted with violence and the consumption of alcohol or other substances. Most of the women were raised in poverty and had a scarce and incomplete education that forced them to aspire only low-skilled jobs with very poor salaries. Most of them were also very young mothers and often single mothers in charge of the upbringing, maintenance and education of the children. It is interesting to note that when women who commit crimes report a greater number of children, the likelihood of reoffending is lower than when they say they have few or no children. This result makes us think about the role of contention that children can exercise in the criminal behavior of the mother and leads us to consider this condition as a basis for the development of proposals for the prevention of the recidivism of crime, based on cognitive strategies, that allow to rationalize the condition of mother, to dimension their responsibility in front of the potential abandonment of their children and to reduce the social condemnation on the part of these.
According to Van der Knaap, Alberda, Oosterveld, and Born (2012), the consumption of alcohols and drugs is also a predictor of incarceration and reoffending, since its pharmacological characteristics are related to the breakdown of social codes, with impulsivity, aggressiveness and with a high degree of psychological dependence. Moore (2015) adds that an increasing number of crimes are carried out by former women offenders in order to provide themselves with the substance and sustain the addiction when they do not have the financial means to do so. This is true especially in economically impaired populations. Cobbina, Huebner, and Berg (2012) cite unemployment, binge drinking, class A drug use, and failure to receive adequate rehabilitation of their drug use during their sentence. Therefore, upon regaining her freedom, the urge to sustain her dependence may lead the women again to commit the same crime.
Cobbina, J. E., Huebner, B. M. & Berg, M. T. (2012). Men, women and postrelease offending: An examination of the nature of the link between relational ties and recidivism. Crime and Delinquency, 58,331-361.
Moore, R., (2015). The Offender Assessment System (OASys) and the 2009-2013 research projects in Moore, R. (Ed.), A compendium of research and analysis on the Offender Assessment System (OASys) 2009-2013 (Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, July 2015). London: Ministry of Justice.
Travers, R., Wakeling, H. C., Mann, R. E., & Hollin, C. R. (2011). Reconviction following a cognitive skills intervention: An alternative quasi-experimental methodology. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 18(1), 48-65.
Van der Knaap, L. M., Alberda, D. L., Oosterveld, P., &Born, M. P. (2012). The predictive validity of criminogenic needs for male and female offenders: Comparing the relative impact of needs in predicting recidivism. Law and Human Behavior, 36, 413-422.
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