Historically, women have been an afterthought in criminal justice policymaking and the criminological enterprise. The study of criminology has largely been the study of criminal men, because women commit less crime than men. More recently, criminologists have paid increased attention to the population of female offenders, partly because of their growing numbers and partly because of the tens of thousands of children affected by having their mothers in prison or on supervised release. The recent attention, however, has not necessarily been a good thing for women, who are much more likely to be formally prosecuted and incarcerated today than in decades past. This policy shift has come about partly because of misinformed policies implemented to “help” women, and partly because of shifts in theorists’ beliefs and public perceptions that women and men are similar in their criminal motivations and should, therefore, be treated similarly. The controversy surrounding this perception is the focus of this book. To better comprehend the challenges facing women in the criminal justice system, the author (a winner of the Bruce Smith Sr. Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences) employs research findings and statistics to: describe the prevalence and patterns of women’s crimes; review criminological theories, specifically examining how well they explain female criminality; understand female juvenile offenders, reviewing crime rates, theories relating to female delinquency, and detention-related issues; look inside the women’s prison to better understand female prisoners and their world; examine classification and programming issues particularly the impact of gender-specific programming; and explore the problems experienced by women upon release and the related issue of women’s recidivism.
Not-for-sale instructor resource material available to college and university faculty only; contact publisher directly.