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December 06, 1999
By From Tribune News Services
More Also In Jail
WASHINGTON — More women are being arrested and serving jail time than in the past, according to a Justice Department report released Sunday.
The increase in serious crimes committed by women comes at a time when the national crime rate–the number of crimes related to the size of the population–has been declining.
The report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics does not explain why crime by women is up.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” said Tracy L. Snell, a bureau statistician who co-authored the report with Lawrence A. Greenfeld.
Despite the upsurge in the total number of women being arrested and incarcerated, the rate of crimes committed by women has followed the downward trend of men.
The crime rate among women was 19 per 1,000 in 1993 and dropped to 15 per 1,000 in 1997. The rate among men dropped over the same period from 135 to 99 per 1,000.
Moreover, three-quarters of the 2.1 million violent crimes committed by women each year are simple assaults on other women.
By comparison, men commit about 13 million violent crimes each year, just over half of which are simple assaults, and 70 percent of their victims are males, the Justice statistics bureau reported.
The remainder of violent offenses by both sexes were more serious: aggravated assaults, robberies, rapes, murders.
“This report shows that women are where men were during the 1960s and 1970s, using their fists when they commit violent assaults,” said Jack Levin, a professor of sociology and criminology who directs the Brudnick Center for Violence at Northeastern University in Boston. “The men have graduated into aggravated assaults and murder. The women haven’t followed.”
Between 1990 and 1996–the latest year of available data–felony convictions of women in state courts increased 42 percent. Convictions for fraud were up 55 percent; drug offenses up 37 percent; and violent felonies up 30 percent.
In the violent crimes category, convictions for murder and robbery each dropped 4 percent while sentences for aggravated assault were up by more than half. The number of convictions for rape or sexual assault more than doubled, although the actual number of cases was relatively small–from 202 to 442.
The number of women in prison increased by an annual average of 8.5 percent between 1990 and 1998, while the rate for men increased 6.6 percent.
Based on complaint and arrest reports, women account for about 14 percent of violent offenders and 22 percent of people who are arrested. They comprise 16 percent of convicted felony defendants and people in the corrections system–including community supervision.
Arrest rates were higher among juvenile than adult women.
Last year one of every 22 females between the ages of 10 and 17 was arrested. It was one arrest for every 42 adult women.
Violent crimes committed by young women has increased 2 1/2 times since the mid-1980s.
Women usually victimized other women. More than three-fourths of violent crimes committed by women were against women.
When women attacked men, more than a third of the victims were intimates or relatives of the attacker.
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Antidepressant Use Up 400 Percent in US
By Janice Wood Associate News Editor,Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
October 25, 2011
Antidepressant Use Up 400 Percent in U.S.The rate of antidepressant use in the United States increased nearly 400 percent over the last two decades, according to a report released Oct. 19.
The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics found that 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 takes an antidepressant, with about 14 percent taking the medication for more than 10 years.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages from 2005 to 2008 and the most frequently used medication by people between the ages of 18 and 44.
The study also found that women are two and a half times more likely to take antidepressant medication as males, while 23 percent of women ages 40 to 59 take antidepressants, more than in any other age or sex group.
Among both males and females, the study found that people aged 40 and older are more likely to take antidepressants than younger people.
The study also found that among those taking antidepressants, approximately 14 percent take more than one. While less than one-half of those patients had seen a mental health professional in the past year, the researchers did find that the likelihood of having seen a mental health professional increased as the number of antidepressants taken increased.
Other findings show that about 14 percent of non-Hispanic white persons take antidepressant medications, compared with 4 percent of non-Hispanic black and 3 percent of Mexican-American persons.
Researchers concluded that there is no difference by income in the prevalence of antidepressant use.
Researchers also note that while the majority of antidepressants are taken to treat depression, antidepressants also can be taken to treat anxiety disorders. In that vein, the study found that about 8 percent of people ages 12 and over with no current symptoms of depression took antidepressant medication. Researchers postulate that those in this group may be taking the medication for reasons other than depression or the medication is working and the patients do not currently have symptoms of depression.
Slightly over one-third of Americans ages 12 and over with current severe depressive symptoms were taking antidepressants, the study continues. According to American Psychiatric Association guidelines, medications are the preferred treatment for moderate to severe depression.
The study’s researchers point out that the public health importance of increasing treatment rates for depression is reflected in Healthy People 2020, an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services launched last December. The 10-year agenda for improving the nation’s health tracks 1,200 objectives to meet these goals, including objectives to increase treatment for depression in adults and treatment for mental health problems in children.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey is a continuous survey conducted to assess the health and nutrition of Americans. Survey participants complete a household interview and visit a mobile examination center (MEC) for a physical examination and private interview.
The annual interview and examination sample includes approximately 5,000 people of all ages. Researchers note that in 2005-2006, non-Hispanic black persons, Mexican-American persons, adults ages 60 and over, and low-income persons were oversampled to improve the statistical reliability of the estimates for these groups. In 2007-2008, the same groups were oversampled with one exception: Rather than oversampling only the Mexican-American population, all Hispanic persons were oversampled.