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Building Gender Informed Practices at the Pretrial Stage – Lessons Learned
NIC News & Updates


Building Gender Informed PracticesFrom the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women (NRCJIW), Building Gender Informed Practices at the Pretrial Stage: Lessons Learned about Implementing the Inventory of Needs (ION) in Dutchess County, New York, highlights how gender neutral risk factors may miss critical gender specific factors that can achieve more successful outcomes for justice involved women. In 2010, Hamilton County engaged in a project with the University of Cincinnati and supported by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) to draft a gender specific pretrial assessment tool, called the Inventory of Need (ION) Pretrial Screening Tool. In 2013, the National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women began working with the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections (OPCC) to develop a more robust pretrial process for women. This article discusses the lessons learned in Dutchess County both from the results of the ION tool assessment and from the implementation of the project.

Preliminary results from the ION Pretrial Screening Tool:

  • The average age of the women was 31, and the sample ages ranged from 17 to 59.
  • Sixty-three percent of the sample was white, 30% was African American, and 7% was Hispanic/Latina. A little over half (51%) of the sample had children 18 years or younger.
  • Regarding education and employment, 19% of the sample did not graduate from high school and 65% were not employed at the time of the interview.
  • The women appeared to have significant experiences with abuse, trauma, and mental health issues.
    • Fifty-eight percent had experienced physical abuse over their lifetime (as children and adults) and 37% had experienced sexual abuse over their lifetime.
    • Forty-nine percent of the women had experienced abuse (either physical or sexual or both) as children and 43% had experienced abuse as adults.
    • When asked items that tapped into symptoms of PTSD, 63% of the sample indicated experiencing one or more symptoms of PTSD.
    • Sixty-five percent of the women had been diagnosed with a mental illness. Of those reported diagnoses, 42% were for depression, 39% were for anxiety, 22% were for bipolar disorder, and 16% were for PTSD.

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This announcement is available at NIC’s Gender-Responsive News for Women and Girls.  Feel free to forward to friends and colleagues.  Subscribe to the newsletter at

For additional resources on Justice-Involved Women go to NIC’s Women Offenders.

Posted Tue, Jul 19 2016 7:04 AM by Susan Powell


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