A comparison of substance abuse among female offender subtypes

J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2002;30(4):513-9.


The relationship between substance abuse and female criminal offending has been understudied. To aid in clarification of this relation, substance use histories of female offender subtypes were compared. Participants were 152 female prison inmates subgrouped on the basis of offense category: violent (n = 79), property (n = 39), and drug (n = 34). As hypothesized, substance use histories differed across offender subgroups. Violent offenders were most clearly distinguished from other offender subgroups. The data provide evidence linking alcohol, combined cocaine and alcohol, and marijuana misuse with serious violent offending among women and show that violent offenders, compared with other offender subgroups, perceive less association between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related negative consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*


  • Illicit Drugs