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Female Offenders: Prevalence and Statistics

Historically, scholars and correctional policy makers paid little attention to female offenders. However, this changed radically with the publication of Freda Adler’s Sisters in Crime and Rita Simon’s Women and Crime in the mid-1970s. Both authors reported that female-perpetrated crime was increasing at a faster pace than male-perpetrated crime. Adler also concluded that females were becoming more violent. At the time, both authors essentially argued that the rise of feminism catalyzed the apparent surge in female criminal conduct. However, the apparent surge and corresponding explanation have since been convincingly debunked.

Subsequent to Adler’s and Simon’s seminal works, scholars and government agencies slowly began to report both official and unofficial crime data for males and females separately. Furthermore, scholars began to focus on understanding how the context ...

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