A study on the influence of urban physical milieu on women’s involvement on substances: Case studies of female imprisoners in Welikada Prison, in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Among those imprisoned for offensive dealings of alcohol and harmful drugs including drug trafficking, a higher proportion was identified within Colombo District. In particular more than 60% of female imprisoners in Welikada prison, were imprisoned against alcohol and drug related offenses whereas it was a specific attribute that 70% of those offenders were from the Colombo district. Also noted that repeated imprisonment for same offences as a common feature. The objective of this study is to determine to which degree the slum dwelling has endorsed as an accountable factor of female lawbreakers for transgressions in illicit actions. More specifically to investigate whether there are effects of the physical environment of their living for their criminal behavior. For this investigation 25 female imprisoners in Welikada prison those who had been charged for imprisonment more than two terms were selected for the sample. Information gathered were linked to their living background, geographical zones of their residence, physical environment, conditions of houses and the day to day conduct of the rest of family members. Interviewees were the females currently being imprisoned and it was revealed that they were living in absurd status of slums located in Dematagoda, Sedawatta, Modera, Mattakkuliya and Keselwatta. Decisions can be arrived at based on the findings that the living pattern including the unpleasant physical setting of slums has paved the way for young women to involve in criminal actions including offensive dealings on alcohol and drugs. As a remedial action to curtail the said wrongdoings by espousing concepts such as CPTED (Crime prevention through Environment Design) to minimize tendencies on spreading crimes.