Report Finds Connection between Women on Probation or Parole Who Lack Transportation and Likelihood of Recidivism
Date:  05-12-2015

Suggestions to reduce recidivism include considering affordable transportation as vital as housing, employment and food for females
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) announced the following on May 8, 2015.

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical report (this report is the result of an NIJ-funded project but was not published by the U.S. Department of Justice):

Title: Access to Transportation and Outcomes for Women on Probation and Parole (pdf, 118 pages)

Author: Miriam Northcutt Bohmert

Abstract: Almost no research has focused on the lack of access to transportation deprivation in offender populations. Transportation deprivation can interact with other known risk factors, for instance, by making it difficult for women to attend programming to address anger/hostility or to increase educational assets. Transportation deprivation might also influence illegal behavior directly (e.g., driving without a license) or indirectly through noncompliance with supervision requirements (e.g., failure to report to a scheduled supervision meeting).

The study found that the scope of transportation difficulties was extensive, based on women’s reporting of low levels of individual and community-level transportation resources. The study found that the relationship between transportation access and recidivism was moderately strong; access to transportation lowered the odds of recidivism events and the time until these events occurred.

Overall, these findings suggest three major directions for policy:

  • First, supervision agents and agencies should be trained and aware of the significant problems their clients face that complicate, and, in some cases, inhibit them from attending supervision appointments, drug or alcohol treatment, and obtaining other necessary services.

  • Second, transit authorities should be notified about how their current services, especially reductions in their services, impact women offenders and other low-income populations.

  • Third, programs aimed at increasing women’s access to affordable vehicles or dependable public transportation should be considered an important component and included in social services such as housing, employment, and food aid.

    Read full report here.