Female inmates list drug use as primary motivation for committing burglary

female inmates drug use

Drug use is more of a motivating factor for women to commit burglary than it is for men, according to a new study published in the Journal of Drug Issues.

Researchers from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Eastern Kentucky University and Radford University surveyed 422 inmates, of which 147 were female burglars. The surveys were completed by inmates in four prisons in Kentucky and Ohio, and 10 prisons in North Carolina. The sample size made up nearly 16 percent of the total population of incarcerated burglars at the time the data was collected. About 35 percent of respondents were females; 67 percent were white, 25 percent were black, and the remaining were mixed race or other.

Based on the responses they received, researchers concluded that female burglars may be more involved in substance use than men, even though they aren’t arrested as frequently.

In 2013, roughly 1.9 million burglaries were reported in the U.S., which has resulted in approximately $4.5 billion in property losses, according to the FBI.

“Female burglars tend to be more impulsive and less deliberate” in planning their heists, the report stated. In response to a question about their motivation for committing acts of burglary, 70 percent of women listed drug use as their top reason, whereas men listed money as their primary motivation.

There was more use of powder and crack cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, barbiturates, methamphetamine, nonprescription methadone, tranquilizers and inhalants by women, the study showed. Marijuana and alcohol were more frequently used by men, however. More women also reported using their illegal proceeds from burglaries on legal and illegal prescription medications, and more men reported spending their income derived from burglaries on illegal drugs.

There’s a definite relationship between drug use and crime, data has shown. According to recent data from the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, roughly 32 percent of state inmates and 26 percent of federal inmates abused substances during the time of the month of their offense. Approximately 70 percent to 88 percent of burglary arrestees tested positive for at least one illicit drug.

Seventy-three percent of the respondents to this particular survey said they used drugs and/or alcohol while… (continue reading)