Sonoma State University -- September 24, 2003

Professor Earns Award For Research Into How Women And Men Are Treated Differently By Criminal Justice System

A criminal justice professor at Sonoma State University has earned a prestigious award for her work in how women are treated differently than men in the criminal justice system.

Associate professor Barbara Bloom is one of the recipients of the University of Cincinnati Award presented by the American Probation and Parole Association for outstanding contribution to the field of corrections in the United States and Canada.

To improve policy and practice regarding women offenders in corrections, the National Institute of Corrections undertook a 3-year project with Bloom and her colleagues, Barbara Owen and Stephanie Covington, entitled "Gender-Responsive Stategies: Research, Practice, and Guiding Principles for Women Offenders."

The findings suggest that gender matters in terms of the management and supervision of women offenders and that many systems lack written policies specific to this population. Most correctional policies and practices are based on male offenders, Bloom's report finds.

Bloom and her colleagues found women come into the criminal justice system via different pathways; respond to supervision and custody differently; exhibit differences in terms of substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, parenting responsibilities, and employment histories; and represent different levels of risk within both the institution and the community.

"To successfully develop and deliver services, supervision, and treatment for women offenders, we must first acknowledge these gender differences," says Bloom who is also the author of "Gendered Justice: Addressing Female Offenders."

This report is available on the National Institute of Corrections Web site, www.nicic.org and is being widely distributed to criminal justice agencies throughout the country.

Media Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations, (707) 664-2057


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