Substance Use, Criminal Recidivism, and Mortality in Criminal Justice Clients: A Comparison between Men and Women [2018]

Background. This study aimed to map differences between male and female offenders with substance abuse, with respect to descriptive characteristics and risk factors for mortality and criminal recidivism. Methods. Criminal justice clients with substance abuse problems were interviewed with the Addiction Severity Index. Mortality and data on return to criminal justice were retrieved from national registers. Results. Female offenders reported heavier substance use patterns, more psychiatric symptoms, and more often a partner with substance abuse, but had lower mortality (2% versus 4%) and criminal recidivism (62% versus 71%) during follow-up. Having a substance-abusing partner was associated with criminal recidivism among females. Conclusions. Female offenders with substance abuse differ from their male counterparts. Males and females had different risk factors for criminal recidivism.

Caroline Mannerfelt and Anders Håkansson

Journal of Addiction, 2018