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Woodsworth College Courses
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William Watson

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Lecture 9: Women’s Imprisonment 11/6/2013 1:57:00 PM  sociologies of punishment:  in the case of women in. there is a direct line of feminist input  because of this, we have a process which we have  there are various phases of feminist input: each time one occurs, sometime later, subsequent feminists are critical of it  often, critical because they feel despite the effort, actually what was happening was reproducing patriarchal ideas  each generation looks at results of previous input  Start by saying: there are people who dispute the following  women commit far less crim then men  make up small percentage of prison pop.  nearly 50% of men in western society have criminal record o only 15% for female o this also true in self-report studies  not only committing less crimes, but those who do commit, commit less crimes, and less violent in nature (their violence are against family members)  its important to recognize women do commit a lot of crime  there is a tendency to think it is very rare  its not that fucking rare  because of comparative rarity, there is tendency to think we need exceptional explanation of women offending  because they offend less, you need to reach for some odd explanation why they did it, i.e. emotional disturbance  the explanations are very "feminine"  courts think along this line  this is wrong: when you look at women offending, its understandable  the women are powerless and victimized  crimes make sense for them in their situation (welfare fraud, prostitution, low level in drug, etc.)  against the insight of contemp. fem., women offending is medicalized  more likely to have psy. evaluations  courts more likely to listen to these courts  these reports can exonerate the situation  then, more likely to receive more disputations involving psychology (i.e. community treatment or imprisonment with therapy)  Book by Joe Sim: if you read Foucault main book, women’s prisons look more like his picture  there is idea of psy. involvement in women’s correctional experiences  this similar to youth  in terms of what the courts do, there are series of ironies about psy. thinking about the crimes women commit, and who they are and how they present themselves  one hand: women who show emotional disturbances in feminine way treated one way in the courts  imply lesser punishment  other hand: women who are much more assertive/aggressive and who won’t feminine (i.e. not heteronormative) are punished more severely, by both the courts and the psychologists  psychological engagement with women is viewed by fem. as very suspicious  there’s a structure problem  women’s programing beyond psyotherapy, is criticized as being inadequate o not enough, not enough variety, under funded o some of the services are based on male programs that aren’t appropriate  some has been very sexist—sources in being secretary  emphasis on mother hood, teaching motherhood skills to offenders  women imprisonment involves problems which pull in all directions, not specific to women’s experiences  lets clarify something:  it can be tempting to think the best way to see deifferent in gender is to treat them the same way—picking out differences is discrimination  you would also think would show differences in certain light to make it fair  once you try and identify differences to women situations, you open up a can of worms  people can say what you are doing is unfair or unjust o ppl argue over the difference in treatmen
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