The main objectives of this paper are to examine the prevalence of criminal involvement among a sample of African American female drug users and to identify factors associated with that criminal involvement, where criminal involvement is defined as having been in jail or prison. Data were collected in Atlanta from 333 adult women at two points in time, namely during baseline assessments conducted prior to their enrollment in an HIV risk reduction intervention and at follow-up assessments conducted 6 months after completion of the intervention. The prevalence and period prevalence of criminal involvement were relatively high. At baseline, 86.8% of the women indicated criminal involvement at some point in their lives and over one-third (37.2%) were involved in the year prior to enrolling into the study. During follow-up interviews, 31.5% reported criminal involvement during the 6 months since enrollment. The findings revealed that victimization/abuse and drug use setting might be salient risk factors for criminal involvement. The unique needs of women such as those in this sample must be taken into account when designing intervention and prevention programs, both within and outside the criminal justice system.


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pp. 89-107
Launched on MUSE
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