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Report Claims Gambling-Related Crime has Significant Impact on Women

March 6, 2023 World Crime & Legal

Dr. Julie Trebilcock of Brule University in London recently examined how women affected by gambling-related criminality have been abandoned.

The study examined how women who had committed crimes as a result of their gambling habits were either unaware of available resources or believed the criminal justice system lacked the necessary tools to aid in their rehabilitation. The lack of awareness that female defendants or convicts encountered while dealing with significant accusations or serving time in prison was notably described in the report released by the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms.

Comprehensive Examination of Women Convicts’ Lived Gambling Experiences
In her report, Dr. Trebilcock interviewed women who had either engaged in illegal gambling themselves or had suffered harm as a result of seeing others gamble. The research itself is a component of a larger initiative by the Howard League for Criminal Reform to shed light on the nation’s gambling customs and how women are affected in particular. Since GamCare recently announced the “Way Forward” online seminars, there have been ongoing efforts to help women overcome harms associated with gambling.

The League, whose chairman is Lord Peter Goldsmith KC, aims to show a direct connection between gambling-related ills and criminality that results from those effects.Gambling-related harm drives people into crime and has a wider detrimental effect on neighborhoods and society at large.

Lord Goldsmith KC said that the issue has long been ignored and that there was no proper look into how gambling-related harm affected women and drove them into crime. As a result, The League is trying to introduce steps that can help reduce such crime, make everyone feel safer, and get the help they need when they need it.

He similarly accused the criminal justice system of lacking knowledge on how gambling-related suffering leads to more serious criminality, which is what the Commission is now attempting to reform and put right. According to Lord Goldsmith KC, “This crucial research was developed by a team that included women with firsthand knowledge of gambling and crime.”

Women who had similar lived experiences actively participated in the report, helping to conduct some of the research, revise the study questions, and provide information that might not have been included otherwise. The study was based on 33 interviews with 27 participants, many of whom were women who had experienced different types of gambling-related suffering.

Nine women had survived to suffer injury and crime caused by gaming. Eight more women were impacted by others, specifically the gambling of a close relative or friend. The remaining 10 participants were in fact individuals with varying degrees of involvement in the business world and the criminal justice system.

Women in the Criminal Justice System Are Unaware of Any Assistance
The survey was distributed to probation and prison personnel, lawmakers, and numerous assistance organizations. Ladies who admitted to committing crimes claimed that they did so to continue funding their gambling appetites. The study’s female participants also admitted that they had certain misconceptions about how gambling and crime are treated by the legal system.

In one case, a woman was given a sentence and sent to jail, but on Saturday afternoons, the jail would plan and host bingo games. Dr. Trebilcock noted how these occurrences and her overall survey were symptomatic of the fact that women who wind up in the criminal court system are frequently not given enough insight to improve or comprehend their habits.

The criminal justice system must be changed in order to assist the jail population in their recovery because gambling-related harm can be extremely damaging on a personal level. It’s not wholly new to fight for changes to the criminal justice system. GamCare stated in August that it will work to alleviate systemic harms from gambling and problem gambling while also raising public awareness of the problem.

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