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Prisons & Prisoners Chapter 7

Prisons & Prisoners Chapter 7 - CHAPTER 7 WOMEN IN...

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CHAPTER 7: WOMEN IN CORRECTIONS A HISTORY OF PUNISHMENT & CORRECTIONS FOR WOMEN -emphasis on female mortality is prominent theme in history -women engaging in deviant or criminal behavior seen as more depraved and morally corrupt -various punishments specifically designed for women -often sanctioned by use of brank & ducking stool -Colonial America = men punished for not controlling wives -early 1800s – women prisoners in England / America not segregated from male inmates -suffered physical / sexual abuse -even if separate wings – often abused by male warders - Elizabeth Fry -early reformer -dedicated herself to improvement of prison conditions for women in England -advocated reforms similar to John Howard (work, training, religion, routine) -emphasis on femininity by teaching female inmates manners and etiquette -argued in favor of female warders (serve as models for “true womanhood”) - Dorothea Dix, Abby Hopper Gibbons, Mary Wistar & Sarah Doremus -1820s United States, similar reforms as Fry -led several campaigns to improve conditions of confinement for women\ -insistence that women inmates be supervised by female warders -1845 = Gibbons & Doremus established the  Ladies Association  within the New York Prison Association -objective of these programs was to instill femininity - Elizabeth Farnham -appointed matron of Mt. Pleasant, NY in 1844
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-“softer” institutional environment (decorations, curtains, flowers) -opponents felt she was too lenient and failed to follow a religious regiment -forced to resign after only 2 years -set out to promote female mortality, virtue, and purity by mentoring their “fallen sisters” -American reformatory era (late 1800s-early 1900s) -purpose of incarceration was to promote sense of femininity and to encourage “ladylike” behavior -reformers succeeded in staffing institutions with women – major victory -application of medical model in corrections emerged -duties assigned to women in prison (cooking, cleaning, sewing, spinning) reflected traditional sex-role stereotypes -women inmates still assigned similar tasks -emergence of two types of facilities 1. reformatory institution -less harsh -engendered more optimism toward reform -generally housed less serious offenders -focused more on female immortality -young, unhardened, guilty of misdemeanors, white females 2. custodial institution -focused more on female criminality -African Americans -typical inmates were older and convicted of more serious crimes -1930s movement virtually exhausted -factors -prostitution
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-economic forces -effects of the Great Depression -Michel Foucault – issue of disciplining female offenders -demonstrates importance of viewing punishment from perspective of power
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