First Advisor

Mark Leymon

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice and University Honors


Criminology and Criminal Justice


Female offenders -- Oregon, Women prisoners -- Oregon, Sex discrimination in criminal justice administration -- Oregon, Administration of criminal justice -- Oregon, Procedure (Law), Coffee Creek Correctional Facility




This paper examines the perceptions of women prisoners in Oregon on procedurally just treatment and their attitudes of legitimacy towards agents of the criminal justice system. It argues that women in an Oregon prison perceived unjust treatment from criminal justice officials which leads to feelings of illegitimacy. 142 women from minimum and medium security at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) were surveyed about their interactions with police, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. The research team analyzed survey responses to theoretically relevant questions such as when they were arrested, questioned by police, communicated with their defense attorney, plea bargain agreement, and sentencing. Evidence from the study showcases that there is a strong relationship between procedurally just treatment and legitimacy, particularly when the women reported experiencing unjust treatment; they were more likely to believe that their sentence was unfair or there was an error in their sentence. Since there is a lack of thorough research on procedural justice within the prisons and the courts in Oregon, specifically among women, the paper recommends that there needs to be further inquiry on police and courts treatment towards offenders.


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