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Gendered Violence and Safety: A Contextual Approach to Improving Security in Women's Facilities: Part III of III: Measuring Gendered Violence and Safety: Research Design and Methods

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2008
185 pages
This third part of a three-part report on a project that investigated the context of gendered violence and safety in women’s correctional facilities discusses the development of a series of instruments designed to measure the social climate and context of inmate housing units.
The project produced a battery of multidimensional instruments with questionnaire items and response categories designed to capture accurately women’s experiences in correctional facilities. Based upon all empirical assessments conducted on the psychometric properties of the 11 instruments, there is strong evidence that these instruments are valid and reliable measures of various aspects of violence and safety in women’s correctional facilities; however, this does not mean that all of the instruments are ready for administering to future inmate populations. This is a “first wave” attempt to show that valid and reliable tools can be developed to measure issues that pertain to safety and violence in women’s correctional facilities. These tools can and should be refined and improved before they are ready for future use. Two of the instruments measured “Problems in the Housing Units Involving Inmates” and “Problems in the Housing Unit Involving Staff.” Three instruments measured the “Likelihood of Violence,” “Personal Awareness of Policies and Procedures Related to Safety and Violence,” and “Reporting Climate.” The remaining instruments measured factors leading to violence, specifically inmate sexual violence, inmate physical violence, staff verbal harassment, staff sexual harassment, staff sexual misconduct, and staff physical violence. 49 tables, 11 references, and 8 appendixes with supplementary information
Date Published: November 1, 2008