Monday, October 23


Room A, University of Aruba
J.E. Irausquinplein 4
7.30 pm
Entrance is free of charge
In the Netherlands, Dutch Caribbean women are overrepresented in official crime statistics. Dutch Caribbean women also make up over 10 per cent of the female prison population, being one of the largest ethnic minorities across female prisons in the Netherlands. A similar overrepresentation of Caribbean women in prison can be found, for example, in the United Kingdom where Afro-Caribbean women comprise a quarter of female prisoners, while accounting for only 1 per cent of the general population.

However, it is likely that this overrepresentation in registered crime and prison populations is due – at least in part - to practices of ethnic or racial profiling by the Dutch police and criminal justice system. Such practices could lead to inflated rates of Caribbean crime suspects and could negatively impact on their sentencing outcomes as well. As around two thirds of incarcerated women in the Netherlands have children, and Caribbean women are often single mothers, their high incarceration rate also has a relatively large impact on societies both in Europe and across the Caribbean. Nonetheless, there is little known about specific pathways to offending and incarceration among Caribbean women who end up in the Dutch prison system.

This lecture will discuss our recent study on risk factors for offending among Dutch Caribbean born women that was conducted by the VU University Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). For this study 330 women born in Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Saba or St. Eustatius were interviewed in the Netherlands, Curacao or Aruba on life experiences and exposure to potential criminogenic factors. Interviews were conducted both in the general population and in various female prisons both local as in the Netherlands. The main results of this study will be presented with the aim to increase academic, governmental, and societal attention for the topic of pathways into crime among Dutch Caribbean women.
Katharina J. Joosen graduated in Clinical and Health Psychology from Utrecht University (2005). She completed her Master’s thesis (on homesickness) and clinical internship (on psychosis) in the U.K. Her PhD, at the Center for Child and Family Studies of Leiden University, focused on early maternal behavioral and physiological indicators of harsh discipline among lower educated mothers (2012). As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the NSCR, Katharina studied female pathways into prison in the Netherlands from 2012 till 2015. 

Anne-Marie Slotboom graduated from Leiden University after finishing a master in developmental psychology. She finished her PhD on a large-scale cross-cultural study of childhood precursors of adult personality structure.  She is currently an Associate Professor at the Criminal Law and Criminology Department of the VU University in Amsterdam. Her main publications have been focused on prison conditions in women’s prisons, women’s prison experiences, and girls in the juvenile justice system.
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