The relationship between drug use and crime among police detainees: Does gender matter?

Angeline Swan, Jane Goodman-Delahunty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
243 Downloads (Pure)


Research has shown a relationship between substance use and offending, but the nature of this relationship remains unclear, especially for women. To explore this, 867 female police detainees in New South Wales were interviewed to examine the correlates of substance use and offending; the relationships between social background, substance use and offending; and the temporal order of substance use and offending. Offences relating to substance use, such as possession, were excluded. Canonical correlations revealed a significant association between substance use and offending. Women who were dependent on drugs had higher levels of offending than non-dependent women; and younger, less educated women were reported more heroin and cannabis dependency. Results of t-tests showed that substance use significantly preceded criminal offending. These results are markedly different from patterns observed in most male offenders. We review the implications of these findings for crime prevention, rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between drug use and crime among police detainees: Does gender matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this