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Study Seeks Ways to Keep Women Out of Prison

University of Louisville researchers Seana Golder (left) and Linda Bledsoe (right) from the Kent Social Work School and George Higgins. Photo courtesy of the Courier-Journal.

Researchers from the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and University of Kentucky will study ways to keep women out of prison.

The project, called “The Women’s Health Research Study,” will look at how incarcerated women were affected by victimization, including physical and sexual abuse, according to this article in the Courier-Journal.

“This is a big study, but it’s going to give us a lot of information that we just don’t have,” said  George Higgins, an associate professor in justice administration at University of Louisville.

A $1.5 million federal grant will fund the project. The team will begin recruiting women in the Louisville area in the next few weeks and hopes to examine 400 women on probabation and parole.

There were almost 115,000 women in federal and state correctional institutions as of June 2009, up 23 percent from 2000, according to this Bureau of Justice Statistics report. About 2,200 women are jailed in Kentucky and another 15,000 are on probation or parole.

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