Gender Responsive Justice: A Critical Appraisal, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gender Responsive Justice

A Critical Appraisal, 1st Edition

By Karen Evans


146 pages

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At the end of the twentieth century a step-change in thinking about the offending behaviour of women began to impact on policy-makers concerned with the treatment of female offenders. A growing number of nations, states and organisations both national and supra-national in nature began to acknowledge that existing criminal justice and especially penal practices had not been sufficiently attentive to women’s needs and had discriminated against women as a result.

The concept of ‘gender-responsive justice’ – an orientation to working with women and girls based around a consideration of the special needs of women as prisoners and their particular pathways to offending – has been developed as a result. This book explores the development of this concept, the theories which have informed it, policy arenas in which gender-responsive justice has been attempted and the practices of gender-responsive justice which have subsequently emerged. This book takes a global perspective as it outlines the different international and national arenas within which gender-responsive justice gained favour and considers what has been learned from this novel and feminist-inspired approach.

Gender-responsive justice has not been without its critics, however, and this book also examines the different arguments which have been used to attack or critique the concept from varied perspectives. This book lays down a clear theoretical framework for understanding gender-responsive justice and will be useful in assessing current and future policy-making in this area.


"Gender responsive justice has evolved in response to the historical neglect of women in criminological theory and practice. However, as this important and timely book indicates, this development has also been associated with an expansion of social control over women. In charting the historical and theoretical origins of gender responsive justice and its associated critiques, the author argues for a transformative approach to criminalised women that is informed by feminist scholarship and by the experiences of women themselves and that acknowledges their continued structural disadvantage and oppression."

- Gill McIvor, Professor of Criminology at the University of Stirling, SCCJR Co-Director, and visiting Professor at the Glasgow School of Social Work, University of Strathclyde

Table of Contents


1. Man made punishment

2. From sex-specific to gender-responsive justice: opening up punishment to a feminist lens

3. Gender-responsive justice in action

4. Gender-responsivity and the male gaze

5. Gender-responsive justice: critical appraisals

6. Gender-responsive justice: feminism and resistance

About the Author

Karen Evans is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool, UK. Karen has published, researched and taught in the area of Gender and Crime for more than ten years.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Crime, Diversity and Criminal Justice

The works in this series strive to generate new conceptual and theoretical frameworks to address the legal, organisational and normative responses to the challenges that diversity and intersectionality present to criminal justice systems. This series aims to present cutting edge empirically informed theoretical works from both new and established scholars around the world.

Drawing upon a range of disciplines including sociology, law, history, economics, anthropology, and social work, the series encourages different approaches to questions of mobility, social inequality, and exclusion with a cross-section of theorists, empiricists, and critical policy researchers. It will be key reading for scholars who are working in criminal justice, criminology, criminal law and human rights, as well as those in the fields of gender and LGBTI studies, migration studies, race and ethnic relations, social stratification, refugee studies and post-colonial studies.

We welcome book proposals that address any of these issues, or related topics, for an inclusive and interdisciplinary series. Please contact series co-editor, Patricia Faraldo Cabana ([email protected]) or Nancy Wonders ([email protected]) to discuss potential book projects. To submit a proposal, contact the Editor, Charlotte Endersby ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology