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SOC 2700 (268)
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SOC*2700 Lecture Week 10.doc
SOC*2700 Lecture Week 10.doc

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University of Guelph
SOC 2700
C Yule

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Gender Responsive Approach to Working with Women in Conflict with the Law Definition: Gender Response - creating an environment through site selection, staff selection, program development, content, and material that reflects an understanding of the realities of women’s lives and addresses their issues - approaches are multidimensional-based on theoretical perspectives that acknowledge women’s pathways into the criminal justice system - approaches address social (e.g. poverty, race, class and gender inequality) and cultur- al factors, as well as therapeutic interventions - interventions address issues such as abuse, violence, family relationships, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. They provide a strength-based approach to treatment and skill building. The emphasis is on self efficacy Distinguishing Aspects of Female & Male Offenders - they come into the criminal justice system via different pathways, respond to supervi- sion and custody differently, have differences in terms of substance abuse, trauma, mental illness, parenting responsibilities, and employment histories, and represent dif- ferent levels of risk within both the system and the community - to successfully develop and deliver services, supervision and interventions for women offenders, we must first acknowledge these gender differences Gender, Power and Behaviour Aggression Men: direct physical aggression Women: indirect relational aggression Coping With Child Abuse Men: act out (violence) Women: act in (self-harm Pains of Incarceration Men: loss of freedom and independence Women: disconnection from significant others Gender, Power and Crime - women are less likely than men to offend - women commit crime of powerlessness while men commit crimes of power - when women and men commit the same crime, women are motivated by powerless- ness while men are motivated by power The Pathways Perspective - Belknap (2001) - the pathway perspective incorporates a “whole life” perspective in the study of crime causation - because of their gender, women are at greater risk of experiencing sexual abuse, sex- ual assault, domestic violence, and single-parent status - Steffensmeiser and Allen (1998) - “profound differences” between the lives of women and men shape their patterns of criminal offending - among women, the most common pathways of crime are based on survival (of abuse and poverty) and substance abuse From Victimization to Criminalization Escape from Abuse - women are more likely to experience sexual abuse as children - often young women leave home and education early due to abuse. This ends up af- fecting their economic situation - substance abuse is one key ways to numb the impact of past abuse - women are more likely to internalize or “act in” on thoughts of the abuse resulting in depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior and self-harm Substance Abuse - this is one of the key coping mechanisms for many women in conflict with the law - substances can be street drugs or prescription medication - they numb the pain and allow the women to work (e.g. sex trade) - can be linked to economic survival, search for love and sex trade Economic Survival - women offenders are 7x more likely to be unemployed and have few job skills - with low levels of education (45% have less than grade 10), they have less opportunity to acquire higher paying jobs - Ontario Works and ODSP leave them far below the poverty line - trafficking, the sex trade, fraud etc are ways to survive economically Search for Love - women view relationships as extremely important - when coupled with past abuse experiences where love has been equated with abuse, they are more likely to remain in a relationship even if it is abusive - offending occurs when they need to do things in that relationship to ensure its continu- ation - drug trafficking, fraud, substance abuse etc Sex Trade - money from the sex trade is far more than many of the women could ever hope to make in conventional ways - they are often “bonded” to their “pimp” - he takes care of them, gives them drugs which allow them to prostitute etc Trauma Theory - trauma and addiction theories provide a basis for gender responsiveness in the crimi- nal justice system - there are commonalities between survivors of sexual assault and combat veterans, be- tween women victims of partner abuse and political prisoners - PTSD-psychological and biological responses put women at greater risk for substance abuse and further victimization - because the traumas have basic features in common, the recovery process also fol- lows a common pathway The Dynamic After Effects of Long-Term Abuse Three Dynamics: - the anxiety generated by the cycle of abuse - the illusion of control generated by the need for a sense of safety in an unsafe world - traumatic bonding or the Stockholm Syndrome, which involves the nature of the vic- tim’s emotional bond to her abuser And their implications for: - the ability to leave abusive partners - re-victimization The Illusion of Control - the abused person tries to make sense of why the abuse is happening - this mary result in self-blame which gives the victim a false belief that they have some control over the situation/outcome - feelings of powerless and anxiety increase and the women tries to gain a sense of control by behaving in ways that she believes will placate the partner and give her safety Traumatic Bonding - similar to the “Stockholm Syndrome” the victim may bond with the abuser 1. Cruelty and Kindness - acts of love/kindness are perceived with exaggerated importance because they give hope to the victim 2. The Abuser’s Power - the woman sees the world through the abuser’s eyes so she can know the things that make him angry or happy but this has the effect of losing her own perspective & allows for self-blame Results of Traumatic Bonding - survival strategy - victim is pulled toward the abuser because of her cognitive distortions and need for sense of control - self-blame for the abuse - sometimes sees abuser as a victim also - attempts to stop the abuse by meeting all the abuser’s needs in dictated manner - engages in denial about the dangerousness of the abuser and the situation Discussion: Risk Assessment - level of Service Inventory-Ontario Revised - identifies risk to reoffend and criminogenic needs to focus interventions - General and Specific Responsivity factors identified provide direction for the style and mode of service delivery - proven to be an effective risk prediction tool for women offenders - studies have criticized the “Canadian Model” of Risk, Need and Responsivity research - the addition of gender-responsive factors appear to create even more powerful predic- tion models - the key concern is that lack of recognition for underlying factors contributing to women’s criminogenic needs Women in the C.J.S. - disproportionately aboriginal and racialized women - in their early to mid thirties - survivors of physical and/or sexual abuse - struggling with significant substance abuse problems - multiple physical and mental health problems - unmarried mothers with minor children - limited vocational training - sporadic work histories Women Offenders in the C.J.S. - women offenders come into the CJS via different pathways - due to differences in makeup and socialization, they respond differently to supervision and custody - women offenders exhibit differences in terms of substance abuse, trauma, mental ill- ness, parenting responsibilities, employment histories - as a result, women represent different levels of risk both in the community and in cus- tody Women Offenders in Ontario - 57% of incarcerated aboriginal women are in the northern region, they comprise 48% of the women offender population for the north. As such, it is important to provide abo- riginal, gender specific programming for these women - units for women tend to be smaller and consist of both remanded and sentenced of- fenders. Small units (under 12 beds) make the provision of more intensive programming impractical Women as Mothers - 70% of women in Ontario’s Correctional system are mothers - being a mother is central to their identity and may be the only thin they feel good about - compared to male offenders, women offenders are more likely to have lived with their children before their incarceration and are more likely to live with their children upon their release - concern over their children is cited as the most important factor in causing them anxi- ety and depression while in custody Women are Relational - friendship are more important in the lives of women than men - women are far more likely than men to be motivated by relational concerns - men tend to have more numerous but less intimate same-sex friendship while women tend to have same-sex friendships that are more intimate, emotional and supportive - women are more likely than men to be affected by what happens to their friends, be they friends inside or outside of the correctional centre The Power Differential - due to socialization, men and women have very different experiences of power and as adults, are treated differently as well - boy are socialized to take power and exert their rights. They tend to “act out” more when things don’t go their way - girls are socialized to be more submissive and tend to internalize problems, often see- ing it as “their fault” The Wage Gap - women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men The Income Gap - women have lower incomes than men. In 2008 the average income of an unattached woman was 38,600 and for men was 47,400 The Education Gap - women in prisons are twice as likely to have no more than a grade 10 education & almost one quarter have less than a grade 8 education The Unemployment Gap - women offenders are 7 times more likely be unemployed. Those that are employed are likely to be employed in low paying or unskilled positions Single Parenthood - female offenders are 9 times more likely to be single parents than the general Canadian woman population Racism - aboriginal and black women are over-represented in provincial prisons The Poverty Gap - women are more likely than men to live below the government de- fined low-income cut-off point. Average incom
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