Women Offenders and Entry into the Criminal Justice System by Being Victimized
The vast majority of women offenders enter the criminal justice system after being victimized. This is a fact that I learned as the former Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s Women in the Criminal Justice Community Committee and as the former Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
When I was Executive Director of ICJIA, I instigated a study on the prior victimization of women prisoners, https://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/pdf/ResearchReports/PTSD_Female_Prisoners_Report_1110.pdf. Shortly beforehand, the agency co-sponsored a study on Sex Trafficking, https://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/pdf/ResearchReports/Sex%20Trafficking%20Report%20May%202008.pdf.
I see these issues as defense counsel, saw them as a prosecutor and hail the inception of the diversionary prostitution court within the Circuit Court of Cook County. But perhaps the most articulate, heart-breaking rendition of victimization of young girls who then enter the criminal justice system as defendants is outlined in a Vanity Fair article about a federal prosecution for Human Sex Trafficking, https://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/05/sex-trafficking-201105?currentPage=all.
That such crimes happen in this nation at this time in our history is horrendous. That women who have been victimized enter the criminal justice pipeline is an injustice.
I encourage each and every person who reads this blog to read the two ICJIA studies as well as the Vanity Fair article.