Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment
Winner of the 2014 Division of Women and Crime Distinguished Scholar Award presented by the American Society of Criminology
Finalist for the 2013 C. Wright Mills Book Award presented by the Society for the Study of Social Problems Since the 1980s, when the War on Drugs kicked into high gear and prison populations soared, the increase in women’s rate of incarceration has steadily outpaced that of men. As a result, women’s prisons in the US have suffered perhaps the most drastically from the overcrowding and recurrent budget crises that have plagued the penal system since harsher drugs laws came into effect. In Breaking Women, Jill A. McCorkel draws upon four years of on-the-ground research in a major US women’s prison to uncover why tougher drug policies have so greatly affected those incarcerated there, and how the very nature of punishment in women’s detention centers has been deeply altered as a result. Through compelling interviews with prisoners and state personnel, McCorkel reveals that popular so-called “habilitation” drug treatment programs force women to accept a view of themselves as inherently damaged, aberrant addicts in order to secure an earlier release. These programs were created as a way to enact stricter punishments on female drug offenders while remaining sensitive to their perceived feminine needs for treatment, yet they instead work to enforce stereotypes of deviancy that ultimately humiliate and degrade the women. The prisoners are left feeling lost and alienated in the end, and many never truly address their addiction as the programs’ organizers may have hoped. A fascinating and yet sobering study, Breaking Women foregrounds the gendered and racialized assumptions behind tough-on-crime policies while offering a vivid account of how the contemporary penal system impacts individual lives.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Searching for Reds Self
How Punishment Changed
The Private Company in the Public Prison
Race Made Visible
Finding the Real Self
Crack Whores Bad Mothers
Navigating Claims about the Self
Other editions - View all
abuse African American African American women alcohol Alicia behavior Carla claims codependency Company executives Company’s confrontation sessions constructions of real correctional officers crack cocaine crime criminal justice Department of Correction deputy warden director Discipline and Punish disease disorder disrespect drug offenders drug treatment program East State’s encounter group entering PHW ethnography facility feelings fucked gender girls going gonna habilitation Haney ideology incarceration inmates institutional interview McCorkel men’s moral career mothers needs one’s overcrowding penal penology person PHW counselors PHW prisoners PHW’s pris prison administrators prison population prison staff prison system problem punishment racial real criminals recidivism referred reform regarded rehabilitative paternalism response ripped and ran rule violation senior counselor sentence sexual social staff members strategy Supermax surveillance Synanon talk therapeutic community there’s they’re things tion told total institutions tough victims violence women who ripped women who surrendered women’s prison