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Providing drug and alcohol services to female offenders: exploring gender and geographical barriers

Stephen Moore (Reader in Social Policy in the Department of Family and Community Studies, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Article publication date: 16 September 2011

Issue publication date: 16 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to explore the views and experiences of female offenders with problem drug/alcohol use living in rural areas and to provide their perspectives on shortcomings in support services.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used in‐depth interviews with (ex) female offenders with problem drug/alcohol use living in rural areas in the East of England.

Findings

The research indicates that the barriers to adequate provision of services for women in rural areas have distinct, but overlapping, gender and geographical elements. Gender issues centre on the failure to see the female offenders in the context of their roles as mothers and partners. The geographical element includes a significant and under‐reported lack of public transport and childcare support.

Research limitations/implications

Given the localised and opportunistic nature of the study, no attempt is made to claim that one can necessarily generalise from these results to all rural areas.

Practical implications

Increased recognition of women attending drug/alcohol support services as mothers with children, faced with problems of organising childcare, or accessing public transport. This is exacerbated by inadequate, public transport provision.

Originality/value

The importance of service providers recognizing the insight which clients could provide through their own lived experiences as users of services. In a rural situation with thinly spread provision, the importance of women‐only provision should not take precedence over quality of service provision.

Keywords

Citation

Moore, S. (2011), "Providing drug and alcohol services to female offenders: exploring gender and geographical barriers", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 130-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/17459261111186458

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited