Date of Conferral







Sandra Rasmussen


This study explored the predictors of community supervision failures amongst female offenders in the United States criminal justice system. Female offenders have, in comparison with male offenders, particular challenges for community reintegration. This study used the relational theory and Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory to investigate the effects of childhood trauma on adult female offenders' behaviors, including substance use disorder and mental health issues. Secondary archival data were obtained from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency's AUTO Screener and Supervision and Management Automated Record Tracking System; this data pool included information on 1,085 female offenders who had served at least one year on probation, supervised released, and/or parole. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to examine childhood trauma, adult substance use, and substance use and mental health treatments received for the study population. Additional demographic variables were also tested as predictors of community supervision failures. Age, marital status, and caregiving for dependent children were identified as significant predictors of community supervision failures. Results indicated that community supervision failures among female offenders are predicted by relational activities. Positive social change is implicated through programmatic changes offered to female offenders. It is recommended that criminal justice agencies equip female offenders with effective strategies that address relational needs such as childcare, parenting, and life skills assistance. Through these changes, female offenders are able to promote healthier lifestyles for themselves, families, and become productive members of their communities.