Essay on Women’s Role in Corrections: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

2841 Words 12 Pages
Crime is an ongoing problem that has been evolving for many years. From incarceration to working in correctional facilities, women obtain unique characteristics in corrections. This paper gives an account of the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of the past accounts of women in corrections. The good addresses the struggles and obstacles women have overcome to gain equal access in corrections. The bad involves the harassment and negative aspects women were subjected to endure in a correctional setting, and negative situations from male offender and coworkers. The ugly gives a description of the sexual abuse and involvement between female correctional officers and male offenders in custody. This research paper will provide insight to …show more content…
An incident at New York’s Auburn Prison involved a female inmate that conceived while in custody and was later killed from a brutal beating while she was 5 months pregnant. After scandals of sexual abuse occurred in prisons, more women were appointed as matrons to help protect female inmates from physical and sexual abuse from other inmates and male staff members. They also assisted with organizing and providing recreational activities for women offenders. Matrons were always subordinate to the wardens of the facilities they worked in, prior to 1870, were always male job positions (Smith, 2012, p. 1695). Women’s role in corrections was limited: even during the Reform Movement, which lasted from the late nineteenth century until the early twentieth century. Women were only allowed to work in institutions with female offenders. Matrons originally performed custodial purposes, but later advanced to positive role models in the institutional milieu. Matrons were expected to emulate sober, hardworking, godly, self-disciplined women. By the 1860s, it was a requirement for matrons to set high examples, in order to teach female prisoners how to become better members of society (Smith, 2012, p. 1696).
Corrections have become a more diverse workforce as it develops. Research has been conducted to study women’s capabilities of handling the mental and physical strain that are