Criminology

Download Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of by Jill A. McCorkel PDF

By Jill A. McCorkel

Because the Eighties, while the battle on medicines kicked into excessive apparatus and legal populations soared, the rise in women’s fee of incarceration has gradually outpaced that of guys. In Breaking Wome n, Jill A. McCorkel attracts upon 4 years of on-the-ground learn in a massive US women’s felony to discover why more durable drug guidelines have so tremendously affected these incarcerated there, and the way the very nature of punishment in women’s detention facilities has been deeply altered for this reason. via compelling interviews with prisoners and nation team of workers, McCorkel finds that renowned so-called "habilitation" drug remedy courses strength girls to just accept a view of themselves as inherently broken, aberrant addicts with the intention to safe an previous unencumber. those courses paintings to implement stereotypes of deviancy that eventually humiliate and degrade the ladies. The prisoners are left feeling misplaced and alienated in spite of everything, and lots of by no means actually tackle their dependancy because the courses’ organizers could have was hoping. a desirable and but sobering examine, Breaking ladies foregrounds the gendered and racialized assumptions in the back of tough-on-crime guidelines whereas supplying a shiny account of the way the modern penal method affects person lives.

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Extra resources for Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment

Sample text

They believed that if you treated women like women, you know, created a homelike environment, they could be reformed. So that’s what they did. They set out to create a place specifically for troubled women to provide what they needed and to be run by woman. They [society ladies] fought for those girls. They had resources. They had money and family influence and they were some of the key players in the [prison] reform movement at the time.  . So this prison is truly what they created, a reformatory, a women’s reformatory.

It was an intriguing turn of phrase. “Unfounding” is part of the lexicon of the criminal justice system, although the warden’s use of the term was a creative appropriation from its customary usage. The term traditionally refers to a formal statement issued by police departments declaring that a crime previously thought to have occurred never actually took place. , “police unfounded the crime after learning the report was false”). But it is a political practice as well. 2 When I spoke with the warden after the press conference, I asked why he used this term to characterize the transition from older, rehabilitative styles of control to a new penology.

He explained that he meant the phrase as an “inside joke” about the zerosum politics of the drug war. He elaborated: Warden: It’s wrecking havoc on how we run things in here. Look, there isn’t any room anymore for civil debate. You’re either tough on crime or you’re not. If you say rehabilitation, you’re soft. And if you’re soft, you’re out. They don’t give a damn about what actually goes on in prison or what works in terms of managing inmates.  . That’s why this new program is called [Project] Habilitate [his emphasis].

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