1st Edition

Women, Reentry and Employment Criminalized and Employable?

By Anita Grace Copyright 2022
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women, Reentry and Employment: Criminalized and Employable? explores the conflicting discourses about employment for women who are exiting prison. It empirically outlines the landscape of employability supports available to reentering women, the ‘steps to employment’ women are directed to follow, and the barriers to employment they face and theoretically explores the subject positions of criminalized and employable women.

    This book offers a contemporary contribution to the scholarship of the past three decades that has queried, monitored, and challenged practices and policies relating to women’s corrections in Canada. Based on data gathered about community-based employment supports available to reentering women in Ontario, Canada, exploring how language constructs the subject positions of criminalized and employable women, and bringing into conversation the extensive body of work about women’s employment and employability and reintegration, the book marks a unique but important intersection of these empirical and theoretical domains. Central to the book is the juxtaposition of two key subject positions mobilized in women’s corrections. One is that of the criminalized woman, a subject whose experiences of trauma and marginalization have rendered her emotionally and mentally broken; she is constrained by her past and incapable of acting towards her future. The other subject position is that of the employable woman who is future oriented, confident, and ‘responsible’ for her own socio-economic inclusion. How do reentering women experience, inhabit, and resist these incompatible subject positions?

    Challenging the invisibilization of women’s experiences in the criminal justice system, Women, Reentry and Employment will be of great interest to students and scholars of Criminology, Penology, and Women’s Studies.

    1. Introduction: Women, reentry, and employment
    2. Making women ‘ready’: Employment supports for reentering women
    3. 'You want them to know you, not know the inmate': Managing the stigma of criminal records
    4. "These women are so broken": The broken, criminalized woman
    5. Being ‘work ready’ and the determinants of success
    6. Being a ‘working person’: Engagement, ambivalence, and rejection
    7. Conclusion: Criminalized and employable


    Anita Grace received her PhD in Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, Canada. Her research bridges studies in critical criminology with research on gender, feminist scholarship, and employment and also includes theories of governance and discipline and coping and resilience. She teaches Criminal Justice System, Social Justice, and Human Rights at Carleton University.