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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Parenting Roles And Experiences Of Abuse In Women Offenders: Review Of The Offender Intake Assessments

Procedure

Names of all women who were admitted to federal institutions in the period between January 1, 1996 and March, 31, 1998 (N=718) were extracted from the Offender Management System (OMS) in order to examine their OIA information. OIAs were not found for 243 women. There were an additional 49 women whose OIAs did not contain Domain Comments, excluding them from the present review. Thus, the total number of women whose OIAs contained the required information was 426. The information in the OIAs of these 426 women was coded using the guide provided in Appendix A. This coding guide was specifically designed for the purposes of this study and it was developed in such a way that it would capture, as much as possible, the issues of parenting and abuse as outlined and presented in the Survey. This allowed for a rough comparison of the findings despite the limitations imposed by the different methods of data collection. Additional descriptions of the categories used and the process of coding will be provided in the Results section as it is necessary to delineate the context of the results in order to shed light on their meaning within the applied method and available data sources.

The study was undertaken between November 1998 and January 1999. The OIAs written in English (N= 347) were reviewed by the author of this report, while those written in French (N=79) were reviewed by Minhtri Truong, M. A., an independent researcher. In order to determine inter-rater consistency, both researchers coded the same 20 OIAs written in English, given that Mr. Truong is proficient in both languages. Both researchers agreed that variables such as women's age and motherhood status were self-evident, therefore only those variables where some interpretation was needed by the researcher were subjected to inter-rater analyses. Kappa measures of agreement were calculated for types of childhood/adolescent and adulthood experiences and childcare arrangements. They ranged from .47 to .72 indicating a fair to good agreement (SPSS Inc., 1996, p.82). Coding examples are provided in Appendix B.