Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Melvina T. Sumter

Committee Member

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Travis Linnemann

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 B465 2013


This thesis is an exploratory study examining drug trafficking among female offenders under the custodial care of the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service. The female offenders were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide that inquired into how they were recruited, why they decided to traffic drugs, did they join in with friends, were family members or relatives involved in the activity, or did they initiate it on their own, and if their childhood experiences influenced them into getting involved with drug trafficking. Themes were identified during the course of the data analysis. More than half of the female offenders were preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals by manipulating them and exploiting their circumstances in order to further personal causes; only a few of the female offenders became involved in drug trafficking to earn extra income; friends and family were predominant in the recruitment and decision making processes that inclined the females to become involved; and childhood experiences influenced over half the female offenders to traffic drugs.

Moreover, many of the females in this study were exploited by friends, people they were sure they could trust. Several of their stories depicted childhoods filled with instability, which may be the result of either a patriarchal society or poverty. Even so, many of the female offenders shared stories of determination and looked forward to better lives in the future.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).