The Female Offender: How Women Think Differently Compared to Men


Tuesday, August 20, 2019
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Session Type: Workshop

More men than women are incarcerated in the United States, but since 1970 the number of women in jails and prisons has increased 14-fold, according to the U.S. edition of The Guardian, far outstripping incarceration increases for males. As criminal justice professionals, we must face the fact that women involved in the criminal justice system often have different issues and needs than men. It is our duty to recognize and respond to those differences! This workshop will present case studies demonstrating that the female offender is more likely to have suffered trauma or sexual violence or to have a mental disorder. Moreover, approximately 80% of women offenders are single mothers, which raises the question of whether high fines and fees will have a detrimental effect on the family unit. Other pertinent questions are whether women in the criminal justice system are being influenced by men in dysfunctional relationships and whether they are being treated differently than male counterparts by the courts and by probation/parole agencies. These topics are certainly worth discussing, as they may form the underpinning of important policy initiatives. Participants in this workshop will benefit from a stimulating overview on this important topic and will leave better informed—and hopefully motivated to explore further!


Shanan Aven
Adult Probation Officer, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Shanan Aven, MAFP Shanan obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services specializing in criminal justice from Wayland Baptist University. She earned a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from Argosy University. Shanan currently works as an Adult Probation Officer with Maricopa County Adult Probation, working with the Seriously Mentally Ill caseload.

Joe Pallo
APO Supervisor, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Joseph G. Pallo, J.D. Joe holds a J.D. from Western State University, College of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration from Cal State Fullerton. An Adult Probation Officer since, 2008, he is assigned as a Supervisor of a standard field unit. He teaches Motivational Interviewing for his department and is an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice Administration at Mesa Community College.

Fred Wilhalme
Adult Probation Officer, Maricopa County Adult Probation

Fred Wilhalme Fred brings nearly 30 years to the probation field. He graduated from Monmouth College with a B.A. in Sociology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice. He is assigned to the SMI Unit. Fred was named the Maricopa County Probation Officer of the year and the Arizona Line Officer of the year by the Arizona Chief’s Association in 2016. Fred was awarded the Crisis Officer of Distinction, from the David’s Hope Organization, in 2015, for his work with the mentally ill.