In both the UK and the rest of the world there have been rapid increases in the numbers of women in prison, which has led to an acceleration of interest in women's crimes and the social control of women, and women's experience of both prison and the criminal justice system is very different to men's. This text is concerned to address the key issues relating to women's imprisonment, contributing at the same time to an understanding of prison issues in general and the historical and contemporary politics of gender and penal justice. What are women's prisons for? What are they like? Why are lone mothers, ethnic minority and very poor women disproportionately represented in the women's prison population? Should babies be sent to prison with their mothers? These are amongst the issues with which this book is concerned. Analysing Women's Imprisonment is written as an introductory text to the subject, aiming to guide students of penology carefully through the main historical and contemporary discourses on women's imprisonment. Each chapter has a clear summary ('concepts to know'), essay questions and recommendations for further reading, and will help students prepare confidently for seminars, course examinations and project work.
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Introduction 1. Histories of women's imprisonment 2. Women in prison: the facts 3. Women in prison: contemporary issues 4. Theories of women's imprisonment 5. Alternatives to custody 6. Feminist theories of imprisonment and penal politics 7. Investigating women's imprisonment: practical issues