Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
There has been an abundance of research examining public perceptions toward various areas of the criminal justice system. Much of this research has focused on measuring public support toward punishment and rehabilitation for offenders within prison. However, less is known with regards to public attitudes toward female offenders. The current study examined public perceptions toward rehabilitation among offenders in general, and female offenders in particular, the risk factors that contribute to female offenders committing crimes, and toward various issues that are common among female offenders and their subsequent treatment needs. Two hundred and fifty participants were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk where respondents responded to four questionnaires that measured their perceptions toward offender rehabilitation, female offender risk factors, female offender characteristics, and female offender treatment. The results of this study concluded that the public is supportive of rehabilitation among offenders. In addition, the public requires more education regarding the risk factors that contribute to female offenders committing crimes, specifically in the areas of family and marital problems, emotional and personal issues, and substance use and abuse. However, results of this study indicated that the public is knowledgable on the issues that are common among female offenders and are supportive of rehabilitation among this offender population. The policy implications of these findings are discussed, limitations are addressed, and directions for future research are considered.
Purcel, Laurel, "Public Perceptions Of Female Offenders And Their Treatment Needs" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 3119.