When the criminal justice system was established, the main objective was to create neutrality and fairness between the sexes. Even though people might believe that there is no such thing as ‘stereotyping’ in the criminal justice system, it is quite obvious that women are constantly being look down upon because of their sex. In general, women tend to be treated like fragile objects that could break at any moment; the truth is that women can be strong and courageous just like men. Society stereotypes women and the criminal justice system is no different.
The number of women incarcerated is growing at a rapid pace. This calls for a reevaluation of our correction institutions to deal with women’s involvement in crime. Increasing numbers of arrests for property crime and public order offenses are outpacing that of men. The “War on Drugs” has a big influence on why our prisons have become overcrowded in the last 25 years. Women are impacted more than ever because they are being convicted equally for drug and other offenses. Female criminal behavior has always been identified as minor compared to Male’s criminal behavior. Over the years women have made up only small part of the offender populations. There is still only a small
women has increased significantly, increasing at a rate double to the rate of male incarceration since 1980 (Covington & Bloom, 2006). Braithwaite, Treadwell and Arriola note that incarcerated women have historically been a forgotten population, and despite the rapid growth of the population, their needs have continued to be ignored (2005). In addition to the stigma that comes with being or having been incarcerated,
There have been many studies conducted that examine ways in which the juvenile justice system responds to female offenders. Historically juvenile female offenders have been treated under status offense jurisdiction (Zahn et al., 2010, p. 10). United States Courts would exercise the principle of “parens patriae” to place the female in detention as a form of punishment for misbehavior (Sherman, 2012, pp. 1589-1590). This principle also remains prevalent as it pertains to how the juvenile justice system currently responds to juvenile female offenders.
Male and female offenders alike are incarcerated every day for various reasons. Some commit violent crimes while others are arrested for drug use or public-order offenses. The difference between the two are the rates at which they are incarcerated, the length or harshness of their sentences, for the same or similar crimes committed, patterns of drug use, and previous correctional history. While men still lead in violent crime rates, 54.3 percent male verse 36.6 percent female, women are more likely than men to serve sentences due to drug-related offenses and other nonviolent property crimes (American Corrections, 2016).
This is an issue I could prove and disprove. Women commit less crime on the whole. A first time offender, dependent on their crime, should receive a lesser sentence than someone who repeatedly reoffends. The crime in which a woman commits tends to be much less serious or severe as the crimes men commit –this will explain the difference in sentencing. However, as chair of the justice committee I’m completely aware woman are committing more similar crimes to men, now, more so than ever. I do believe if the crime is the same then the punishment should be, however a lot of factors come into play with this issue. The factor of chivalry, the success of the guilty party’s lawyer and the motives behind the crime. These issues all change a person’s punishment –it may be these issues more than gender.
The system unable to adapt for such a small number in comparison to men, incarcerated women are expected to fit into an institution developed by men for men, resulting in worse conditions, less familial contact due to fewer facilities, and more rules as if the women were children, all direct reflections institutionalized sexism and HM both in and out of the corrections arena. Additionally, due to the Madonna-like factor, women who are convicted have a farther fall from grace within society and do not have the luxury of the “good old boy” connections for defense and protection. While gender roles and expectations are assigned by society, believing women should be equal to men demands the acknowledgement that women can offend like men (Pearson, 1998) and therefore should be incarcerated not ‘like men’ but in an equalized manner. Perhaps, rather than revamping institutions developed to house and rehabilitate women, we first investigate the standards currently in play for the policing, convicting and sentencing of men as the foundation of creating a nonsexist criminal justice
The United States criminal justice system, an outwardly fair organization of integrity and justice, is a perfect example of a seemingly equal situation, which turns out to be anything but for women. The policies imposed in the criminal justice system affect men and women in extremely dissimilar manners. I plan to examine how gender intersects with the understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. Gender plays a significant role in understanding who commits what types of crimes, why they do so, who is most often victimized, and how the criminal justice system responds to these victims and offenders. In order to understand the current state of women and the way in which gender relates to crime and criminal justice, it is first
A while ago when someone thinks of careers in criminal justice, they most likely imagine men in any positions that come to mind. Maybe because most feel the field of criminal justice is unsafe, stressful, and unpredictable. Before 1972, the number of women employed in the criminal justice system as police officers, correctional officers, lawyers, and judges was a small number. This is understandable: statistics from a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs – Bureau of Justice Statistics show that men outnumber women in all areas of federal law enforcement, in most places making up at least 75 percent of the workforce. Now according to the United States Department of Labor, women make up 46.8% of the US workforce.
The acceptance that the court system often treats female offenders differently than male offenders is an accurate statement; however, it comes with many caveats. Generally, the public views women as nurturers, motherly and incapable of
It would be foolish to assert that gender plays no role in the criminal justice system, just as it would be equally foolish to say that race plays no role in this system either. Covington and Bloom cite the work of Kivel (1992) in reminding all that "Where sexism is prevalent, one of the gender dynamics frequently found is that something declared genderless or gender neutral is, in fact, male oriented. The same phenomenon occurs in terms of race in a racist society, where the term "race neutral" generally means white" (2003). The criminal justice system reflects the needs of men and the values of men in a highly patriarchal society; the issue becomes more complicated when some scholars argue that women should fight for equal rights in all areas of life, including the criminal justice system, arguing that while equal treatment might hurt women in the short run, in the long run, it's the best policy for women (Covington & Bloom, 2003). On the other hand, opposing groups argue that women are inherently different from men and that insisting on equality will always create a situation where women lose out (Covington & Bloom, 2003). This debate creates an uncertain situation about how women should be treated in the criminal justice system and whether gender should play a role accounting for differential treatment.
Female Criminality consists of several outdated statistics regarding the rise of female offending. However, in viewing the current research on the subject, it appears that the overall theme of this dissertation's discussion is still relevant despite changes in the accompanying statistics as seen in viewing the following topics: the rise in female offending; the continual rise that females are committing more crimes than men; and the types of crimes that women are committing. In viewing Bruce Gross's 2009 article, "Battle of the Sexes: The Nature of Female Delinquency," as well as Elizabeth Cauffman's 2008 article, "Understanding the Female Offender," one can begin to see where current statistics regarding the female criminal lie.
Statistics show that the number of female offenders in the legal system has been increasing steadily. The number of female offenders entering the American justice system is growing at a rate faster than males. Statistics from the United States in 2010 show the female offender population to be increasing by 2.7% each year, compared to the male population at a rate of 1.8% each year, with similar statistics being seen in other Western countries (West & Sabol, 2010). The continued increase has made understanding female offenders and their catalysts for committing crime more imperative.
All feminist theorists share a common focus on gender inequality; however feminism can be described as a set of perspectives rather than a single viewpoint (Strider, N.d.). Therefore, challenging gender biasness in the criminal justice system from the feminist perspective can take many forms given the fact that there a lot of sources of gender inequality in the system. For example, the early theories of criminal behavior largely ignored gender all together and as a result the field has become largely male dominated and males have also been shown to commit more crimes than women on average.
Most of the theories of crime was developed to explain male crimes by male criminologists. For decades, women offending challenges traditional theoretical explanations of crime, which were developed to explain male offenders. There were a few debates that indicate the concern of whether the theories were being used equally to explain both female and male crime. Criminologists came to a conclusion that the traditional theories are male-specific theories. For that particular reason, they argue that those theories are not suitable to explain female crimes. However, both the social process and traditional structure theories explain a gender neutrality in crime. They also give a better understanding for both male and female crime.