Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Edward Neukrug

Committee Member

Jeff Moe

Committee Member

Emily Goodman-Scott

Committee Member

Natalie Arce Indelicato


Historically, women have been ignored and minimized in criminology research and theory, leading to gaps in the literature on justice involved women. In recent years, there has been more focus on women as their rates of involvement in the justice system have increased. Previous studies have found that pathways to justice involvement are different for women and men, with women experiencing higher rates of victimization, sexual abuse and mental health concerns. Further, justice involved women are unique in that over 80% are mothers or primary caregivers for minors. General Strain Theory is used to assert that receiving support should reduce the stress experienced by women that otherwise would lead to criminal behavior; however, little is known about how the recidivism rates of justice involved females are impacted by the social services their children receive. The risk, needs, responsivity model is used to further support the need for providing assistance needed to ease the strain on women. The researcher utilized a subset of archival data to explore the needs of justice involved women. Participants included 233 justice involved women. A two by four (2x4) analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if there was a statistically significant correlation between the women’s children receiving services, the women’s race, the women’s ethnicity, and the amount of lifetime arrests. Results indicated that there was not a statistically significant relationship between children receiving services, race, and ethnicity, or a significant interaction effect between receiving services and race or ethnicity on the mother’s number of lifetime arrests. Implications, limitations and future directions are discussed.