Unformatted text preview: Chapter 5 Chapter 5
Incarcerating, Punishing and Treating Offending Women and Girls First major studies on women prisoners were not conducted until the 1960s Little was known about the prisons Most studies focused on homosexuality or deplorable conditions 3 reasons have been offered for the invisibility of incarcerated women – Women are a small proportion of prison and jail population – Usually incarcerated for less serious and dangerous crimes – Less likely to riot, make demands etc History of Institutionalizing Females History of Institutionalizing Females Women and men were subject to the same penalties in preindustrial societies
– Burnings at the stake – Whippings – Hangings – Public ridicule Confinement for long periods of time was uncommon until the late 16th century Women could be punished for crimes against their husbands Burned to death for committing adultery or murdering a spouse Men who did the same thing were rarely punished Could be punished by the church and the state 1923, ½ of the women in prisons were convicted of sex offenses 1700s in England: convicts were transported to Australia Even for petty crimes Women often forced into prostitution in Australia Men and women were often housed in the same institutions Women faced a high risk of rape Often resulted in pregnancy and floggings that caused death Prisons were unwilling to hire female guards Reform in imprisonment: 19th century conducted by wealthy white women Thought women were victims in a male economic and criminal justice system Elizabeth Fry: 1816 Started the Ladies Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners in England Quaker Said that women have different needs Needlework, personal hygiene, religious instruction, and hire female guards Many of her ideas were unpopular but by 1948 she did get passed: segregation in prisons, female guards, decreasing hard labor U.S. reform movement started later 1830: Magdalen Home Reform prostitutes Remold rather than punish After the Civil War the jails were filled with women who were punished when they were simply trying to get by High mortality rate of infants born to incarcerated women Reformatories: designed to house women offenders Reflect the gender stereotypes for treatment and activities Viewed women as more child like Discouraged them from acting like independent adults Many sent to reformatories for minor sex offenses (prostitution, pregnancy out of wedlock) Men were not punished for these crimes Some reformatories had nurseries, kitchens, living rooms If paroled, the idea was for the women to be a domestic servant in a good Christian home 19001920 New reformers who were education Lots of doctors and psychiatrists in the prisons Questioned the treatment of traditional roles Reformers believed that the cause of women’s crime: low wages and limited opportunities in work and education 1915: more prostitutes and drug users in prisons Increase in African American women in prisons Racially segregated cottages Depression: many institutions closed Reform in the 1970s: get rid of gender stereotypes Women’s Prisons Today Women’s Prisons Today Women actually make a small proportion of prisoners Few women’s prisons Institutionalized sexism in prisons: 1. women’s prisons are further distance from family 2. small number of women in prisons is used to justify a lack of programs 3. low levels of treatment Most law suits from women since the 1970s have to do with equal treatment: jobs, pay, visits, etc Many female offenders are survivors of sexual assault yet programming to help them is not available Vaginal exams are frequent yet yearly paps are often not given Law libraries are not always available Often no education regarding contraception, reproduction education etc. 56% of women come to prison pregnant Some get pregnant while in prison Rates of Imprisonment Rates of Imprisonment The number of women in prisons tripled during the 1980s Most are in prison for property crimes, drug offenses, public order offenses Who is in women’s prisons? Who is in women’s prisons? Page 168 and 169 Prior to 1865, African American women were disproportionately incarcerated After the civil war, the rates increased Most females are poor Survived sexual abuse/physical violence Drugs, prostitution Girls’ Correctional Institutions Girls’ Correctional Institutions Start in solitary confinement Risk of sexual assault Many have thought about or attempted suicide Psychological Aspects of Psychological Aspects of Imprisonment Many treatment policies are to treat women as though they are sick High rates of self mutilation High suicide rates Women internalize anger Many receive medication for emotional disorders Why do women received more meds? – Experience imprisonment more than males – More pain due to separation from kids – Social control of females Many are drug users Programs are often not available Lots of guilt and worry about separation from families Feel guilty about incarceration Doubly traumatized Often receive less visits from families unlike male offenders Different values are placed on male inmates Parenthood Parenthood Incarcerated women are far more likely than incarcerated men to be the emotional and financial providers for children Children are far more likely to be affected by an incarcerated mother than an incarcerated father Grandparents most likely take the grandchild when parents are in prison Children often have to change schools Less well off financially Higher rate of drug use and dropping out of school Higher crime rates/chances of going to prison Average number of children for each incarcerated mom: 2 or 3 Can be difficult to visit parent in prison This has devastating and lasting effects on children Should infants be allowed to stay with moms? Early women’s reformatories often allowed children until they were 2 Some prisons allow extended visits Some allow few contact visits Women often worry about retaining custody once they are out Incarcerated women are more likely than incarcerated men to have their parental rights revoked Mothers report desertion or divorce by their male partners or husbands Educational, vocational and Educational, vocational and recreational programs Women prisoners have typically been viewed as unworthy or incapable or training or education Programs are usually poorer in quantity Lack of women’s prison programs: women constitute a small percentage of prisoners and that they are in prison for relatively short time periods compared to men Page 180 paragraph 1/3 of all incarcerated females hold a high school degree at intake Health care services Health care services Women in prison may have more serious health problems Living in poverty, limited access to medical care, poor nutrition, chemical dependency, limited education on health Easy to get illegal drugs in prison but prescription meds can be difficult to obtain Incarcerated males are 4 times as likely as female prisoners to see a physician Often have greater medical needs and the care is not available HIV in women’s prisons Often given unnecessary hysterectomies Health care issues of women who are pregnant and addicted to drugs Inadequate resources for false labor, miscarriages etc Lack of maternity clothes Social workers are often more available than medical personnel Often report that women will want to see a doctor but after weeks of not being able to see one, they get better Prison Subculture Prison Subculture Males adapt to incarceration by isolating themselves Females form close relationships with other inmates Pseudofamilies: close and sexual bonds Male prisoners stick together more to the “convict code” more than women More afraid than men of losing days due to rule violations Women focus on how to quickly get out to be with their families Women miss relationships and create these “families” to replace what they have lost and to cope Females play various roles, even male roles Psychological well being Not necessarily sexual; more affection Some will only assume lesbian status while incarcerated Not all women in prison who love other women are lesbian They learn to love other women as a way to cope Many say that they feel better about themselves and their bodies Jealousy can be a big issue Most lesbian relationships end when one gets out of prison Do not confuse consensual homosexuality and prison rape. They are 2 separate things In men’s prisons homosexual rape is accepted but consensual gay relationships are not always accepted Problems of sexual abuse by staff and administrators Male inmates are more likely to be rape by other inmates Females are more likely to be raped by staff (guards) and administrators Some women may be forced to have abortions so the men are not caught Can be difficult for a women to retaliate against the perpetrator Cocorrections Cocorrections Some facilities house both males and females (not together) Idea began in the 1970s hoping that sex integration would normalize the prison experience Work and eat together Reduces sex discrimination in work, treatment and programs Allows for prisons to be more accommodating for visitors More sexual control would be needed Pregnancies prostitution Women and the Death Penalty Women and the Death Penalty Little research on this issue Between 1632 and 1997: executions of 357 women Murder convictions ...
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- Fall '09
- women’s prisons