Young women with protective and judicial measures and their transition towards prison

Mujeres jóvenes con medidas de protección y judiciales y sus tránsitos hacia la prisión

Fanny T. Añaños-Bedriñana, Miguel Melendro, Rocío Raya Miranda

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP77-2-2019-05

The aim of this work is to analyse the influence of protective and/or judicial measures on the transit to prison of young women who have been through these situations as minors, starting by identifying risk factors associated with the process. Consequently, it provides new verified benchmarks for intervention with the population of young women in prison. To this end, qualitative and quantitative methods are used with a sample of 599 female inmates from 42 Spanish prisons, to whom 538 surveys and 61 interviews were applied. Three subsamples were selected: protection centres (n = 60); foster care (n = 36), and judicial measures (n = 72). A descriptive and interpretative study was carried out using frequency analysis, contingency tables, independence tests, and measures of association. The results show that 20.3 % of young women in prison have a prior history of institutionalisation in protective measures and 13.4 % with judicial measures. The main risk factors identified are: low educational levels (69.4 % below secondary education), environments with family members or partners in prison (between 48 % and 63.2 %), addictions (drugs and alcohol), either personal or affecting family members (over 60 %), and a significant relationship between young people who experienced judicial measures as minors having made reports of abuse. In the discussion and conclusions, growth in criminal behaviour by young people, especially women, is evident. Regarding the group studied, the low valuation of their time in protection centres and judicial measures by the imprisoned women, the difficulty of their family and affective background, and their worryingly low levels of education are striking. These data support the bases for evaluating the early impact on processes of transit towards prison and the options for socio-educational intervention aimed at reintegration and inclusion.


This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 273 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Añaños-Bedriñana, F. T., Melendro Estefanía, M., & Raya Miranda, R. (2019). Mujeres jóvenes con medidas de protección y judiciales y sus tránsitos hacia la prisión | Young women with protective and judicial measures and their transition towards prison. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (273), 333-350. doi: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP77-2-2019-05

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Fanny T. Añaños-Bedriñana has a Degree in Education and a PhD in Pedagogy. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Pedagogy and Deputy Director of the University Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPAZ) at the Universidad de Granada. Her research, teaching, and intervention lines include social pedagogy/education, the prison environment, drug dependency and addictions, among others. She has directed various teaching innovation and research projects.

 https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7515-1987

Miguel Melendro has a PhD in Education. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Theory of Education and Social Pedagogy at the Universidad de Educación a Distancia, Co-Director of the UNED’s TABA - International Research Group which focuses on social inclusion and human rights, Director of the Master’s in socio-educational action with vulnerable groups: family, children, adolescents, and young people at UNED’s Faculty of Education, guest researcher at various universities and author of over a hundred publications.

 https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3035-9412

Rocío Raya Miranda has a Diploma in Statistics, a Degree in Statistical Sciences and Techniques and a Doctorate in Statistics. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics and Operational Research of the Universidad de Granada. Her research work is on nonparametric inference, bootstrapping, and smoothing methods.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2846-1592