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S. Samyuktha1, T. Sowmyya*

* Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, Department of Chemistry, University College of Science, Osmania University,
Hyderabad -500007, Telangana, India.


Crime rate is increasing alarmingly and the number of female offenders has also risen drastically. When convicted
by the court of law, female prisoners have been found to show psychological disorders. It has been found from a
recent study that number of female prisoners diagnosed with psychological disorders has risen sharply to more than
twice the level of male prisoners. Female prisoners are 20 times more likely to die by suicide and suffer with
suicidal tendencies than women of the same age in the general population. However, risk factors and indicators of
vulnerability for suicide in this group are not well-known. From the study conducted by researchers, the percentage
of female prisoners suffering with mental conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disease and major depression, post
traumatic stress disorder, etc. have always been high but many women haven’t been diagnosed. Many women also
decline to seek treatment until they are behind bars. It was found that most of the female prisoners are victims of
emotional, sexual and physical abuse from childhood. They toggle through jail and prison often because they don’t
get adequate treatment or community support. The present study shows that female prisoners have significantly
higher rates of the mental disorders investigated, when compared with women in the community. The study also
highlights the need for treatment of the mental disorders of female prisoners which will in turn decrease the crime
rate of female crime offenders in India.

Psychological Disorder; Female Prisoners; Suicide; Treatment

H51, I2, K1, K4, Z1


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Sandra Walklate., (2005). Criminology: The basics. Taylor & Francis; 1 edition. ISBN-13: 978-0415335546.
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