Only six studies investigated gender differences in other types of offences, demonstrating that while women are overall less likely to offend than men, drinking tends to increase the likelihood of offending in both sexes. Drinking also increases the likelihood of violent offending more than other types of offences and the risk of violence after drinking is higher in both men and women. Again, there is evidence that women offenders with alcohol problems have more psychological problems than men. Using drugs in combination with alcohol may also be an issue for women alcohol abusing offenders.
The researchers found only four studies that evaluated treatments specifically designed for women whose offending was linked to alcohol, meaning there was not enough evidence to answer the question of what treatment works most effectively.
However, there was strong evidence to show which approach did not work. A study in New Mexico showed that putting female drink-driving offenders before a panel of people made up of those who have been seriously injured or whose loved ones have been killed in a crash in a collision with a drink-driver to hear about how it has impacted on their lives actually increased the risk of reoffending.
Another American study documented high-risk female offenders who were given a 'life activities' interview as part of their treatment focusing on life adjustment, occupational and financial status. Again, this resulted in a greater rate of offending than those who did not 44 per cent as opposed to 24 per cent.
Professor McMurran added: "Programmes designed specifically for women whose offe
|Contact: Emma Thorne|
University of Nottingham