The rehabilitative model of probation with its inherent social work values, knowledge and methods of intervention remains the dominant approach to the supervision of offenders in Hong Kong. The major aim of this paper is to look at the perceptions and experiences of 10 female drug offenders aged from 19 to 30 of their one-year community probation sentence, using a gender analysis of criminality and drug misuse. Allowing female offenders to speak is essential not only in understanding their problems and needs related to their offending behaviour but also to empower them to inform practitioners what in practice will work best with them. According to data generated from in-depth face-to-face interviews, females used drugs as a means of coping with relationship breakdowns and their complex lifestyles, and preferred being treated as friends rather than criminals who required close supervision. These women also quoted the support of their family, and their own determination as being the most important factors to bring about change in their offending behaviour. In relation to the Chinese culture, it is argued that a concern for personal relationships is an important part of probation work in order to reduce the risk of reoffending.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Social Psychology