Proportionately women offenders are growing among the ranks of those involved in the correctional system in the U.S. This paper presents an overview of the characteristics of women offenders, our state of knowledge about programs and services for women, and policy choices regarding how to handle the increasing number of women in the criminal justice system. Using the evidence-based practices literature, the needs of the women are compared to the research on effective practices using the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model. This model purports that low risk offenders should not be the priority for intensive services in the criminal justice system; instead high risk offenders should receive such services. Based on this model, the paper discusses whether services in the criminal justice system are the best option given the consequences of involving the correctional system to assist women who are poor, underskilled, and undereducated to become productive citizens. © by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.