Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Janssen


Occupational Therapy -- methods; Prisoners; Women


Within the United States, women are known to be the fast growing population of inmates. The purpose of this project is to develop a gender specific occupation based life skills program to implement within a prison setting and continue once in the community. An extensive literature review was conducted on current programming available and what the current needs of women inmates are. Literature revealed that there is a high rate of recidivism among female inmates once released but the recidivism percentage decreased when programming was provided within the prison. The needs of women inmates are different then male inmates. As a result, there is a lack of gender specific programming that encompases all aspects of life and wellbeing of a female inmate. The resulting product will address the specific needs of a female inmate, such as: parenting, mental health, substance abuse, experiences related to trauma or abuse, and physical health and wellbeing. An occupation-based skill component will be applied throughout driven by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Occupational Adaptation. Programming will be provided first within the prison setting to prepare the women for re-integration, then continued in the community for added strength to decrease recidivism and promotion of successful community reintegration. These occupation-based programs together will be a beneficial asset to any prison setting that serves the female population.