This book examines female institutions and the treatment of women inmates in the past and today. It focuses on why women are incarcerated, the different programs in prison available to them, crimes women commit, incarceration and crime rates compared to men, prison socialization, and how female prisons operate. It also looks at some of the positives and negative aspects of prison life and issues for women compared to male prisoners. According to the author, there are three distinct differences between male and female prisons. First, prisons for women are smaller. Second, there are fewer of them. Third, they are different than prisons for males.
[...] The prison staff, half of which consists of female guards and administrations seems to be more open and influential in female prisons. They have a more approachable and lenient stance. They engage in more personal relationships with the prisoners and communicate more than those in male prisons. Women tend to need more emotional and family support while in prison to make up for the separation of family. Some women tend to become depressed due to the separation. The loss of interpersonal support and relationships results in many women becoming involved in the prison socialization and develop dyads and families in prison. [...]
[...] Although every category in crime had increased for women, embezzlement increased the most. Murder and manslaughter tends to have the lowest rates. Women don't commit violent crime as much as men and when they do they are more likely sentenced and sentenced more harshly than men. Most murders committed by women involve an abusive husband, circumstances surrounding a husband or boyfriend like jealously or cheating. Much of this has to do with stereotypes of how people think women should act. [...]
[...] At the time prison growth was expanding due to higher crime rates and the incarceration rates were increasing, mainly due to the war on drugs. Women were becoming more and more involved with this type of criminal behavior for a number of reasons, which led to more women being sent to prisons. The statistics are mainly from the early-mid 80's, but at that time the war on drugs was becoming significant. The book explained the need for more treatment programs and specific needs programs for women since more women were being incarcerated. [...]
[...] Equal rights movements have allowed women in prison to receive more programs and attention to needs, however, when it comes to medical services and some other services, equal treatment is a detriment. As shown in the book, female inmates seem to be caught up in a system that outwardly portrays equal treatment but when examined more closely there are many inequities and unfair treatment that still exist (Moyer, 1984). I think more than one orientation applies to issues within the criminal justice system. [...]
[...] The lack of prenatal and after birth care programs, along with extended visits or in prison day cares for mothers with newborns and small children is one of the major problems and concerns for female inmates. This is the worst part of being incarcerated for most women. The effects of separation are difficult for both mother and child. Children often suffer emotional, psychological, and academic problems. Many women don't want their children to know they are in prison, while others are told their mother is away. [...]
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