Date of Conferral







Sandra Rasmussen


Mental illness and substance use disorders have been determined to be leading predictors for recidivism among criminal offenders in the United States who are released to community supervision. Women make up an increasing in percentage of this criminal justice population; however, few studies have explored the role that gender plays in determining men and women's recidivism. Offender's education, employment, and peer association have also been reported to be predictors increasing the likelihood of recidivism among criminal offenders. This study was designed to determine if gender, mental illness, substance use disorder, employment, education, and peer association predicted recidivism. Differential association theory and gender pathways theory provided the theoretical framework for this study for examining archival data obtained from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency AUTO Screener and Supervision Management Automated Record Tracking System. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that substance use disorder significantly predicted recidivism, while employment decreased the likelihood of recidivism. This study did not find a significant interaction between mental illness and substance use disorder or mental illness only. Additionally, neither gender, education, nor peer association were found to be associated with recidivism. This study promotes social change by highlighting the increasing need for services for offenders and identifying the complex factors that impact recidivism. The findings from this study will be helpful to criminal justice agencies for developing programs that address the need of SUD and employment for offenders to reduce the likelihood of recidivism and increase public safety.