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A variety of studies indicate high rates of domestic violence in the backgrounds of women offenders. We examine and extend this work through a qualitative study of women on probation or parole in a western U.S. county. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 women who participated in a larger study in which only questionnaire data were collected. Participants completed a brief telephone interview about prior experiences of partner violence and then a face-to-face extensive in-person interview. In the analyses, several notable themes emerged regarding the women’s histories of child victimization, partner abuse, substance abuse, coercion into crime, and a lack of support services. Partner violence may play an important role in the genesis and maintenance of the criminality of a significant proportion of women, and should be acknowledged and addressed as part of programs intended to decrease recidivism.

Published Citation

Whaley, R. B., Moe, A. M., Eddy, J. M., & Daugherty, J. (2008). The domestic violence experiences of women in community corrections. Women & Criminal Justice, 18(3), 25-45.