Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Social Work

First Advisor

Ronald Pitner


The number of women incarcerated in the United States has grown at an alarming rate. This research study presents a conceptual framework for examining pre-prison and incarceration-based trauma and its effects on cognitive appraisals and self-perceptions. Literature from psychology, feminist psychology and neuropsychiatry are integrated to discuss how pre-prison trauma creates pathways to crime for females, how incarceration serves as a form of traumatization (or retraumatization), how the social dynamics of the prison environment potentially exacerbates mental health issues (i.e., PTSD, anxiety, depression), how this negatively affects a female inmates vocational readiness—the ability to obtain and maintain employment once engaged in the re-entry process. Implications for intervention development are discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons