Monday, November 29, 2010

Oklahoma poll shows support of programs for female inmates

Many Oklahomans believe the state locks up too many women and think it is because of a lack of adequate alternative programs, a recent Oklahoma Poll found.

With Oklahoma No. 1 in the female incarceration rate, most residents say the state's current stance on crime and punishment is not making them safer.

Historically, public policy and research focused only on the experience of incarcerated men, said Juanita Ortiz, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Illinois-Springfield, who also completed her doctorate degree at the University of Oklahoma studying female recidivism rates.

"With this newly arising examination of women as offenders, there has also been an increase in understanding their different pathways to crime and the greater effect that their incarceration tends to have on children left behind," Ortiz said.

Ortiz's comments were featured in a November 28, 2010, article in the Tulsa World.

Download a PDF of the full article