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Increasing female involvement in violent crime is a concern in Nigeria; still, it is unclear what informs this sudden surge in a society that supposedly socializes feminine gender to be soft, caring, and compassionate. This article explores the sociological profiles of women involved in armed robbery, drawing case examples from 32 convicts in a Nigerian female penitentiary. It was found that women were made susceptible to deviance by some social factors such as familial variables, neighborhood characteristics, gender discrimination, neglect, and violence. Both primary and secondary social groups were found to be major facilitators in the initiation into crime, development of criminal career, entry into armed robbery, and maintenance of life as a robber. This article concludes that gender-based inequality in all social facets and the unfavorable socio-economic conditions in Nigeria increase the vulnerability of women to be recruited into criminality. A revival of the family institution, gender-neutral parenting, government’s intervention for improvement of socio-economic wellbeing, and gender education are suggested.
This introduction sets up this book’s analysis in terms of the Irish female convict prison’s history, structure and space, the historiography of Irish punishment and imprisonment, and the sources and methods. It outlines how the Irish Convict System developed in the wake of the end of transportation. It explores the aims and motivations of the convict directors who headed the system, and demonstrates how the approach won immediate praise and had widespread international influence. Optimism that the Irish Convict System had solved recidivism, however, was not to last and in the 1870s the establishment of the General Prisons Board initiated further changes. This chapter also explores the establishment of a singularly female prison managed mostly by female staff. It demonstrates, using quantitative and qualitative evidence, that a stay in Ireland’s female convict prison was statistically unusual, even though the women housed therein were in other respects ‘ordinary’ women.
Prison standards are an important element of transnational criminal justice. This chapter shows how legal standards governing prison conditions emerged at the international and regional levels and considers how, increasingly, they have gained legitimacy. It then describes how these standards are applied in a way that contributes to a recognizable transnational legal order in respect of prison conditions, which has real impact at the national level. The chapter pays close attention to the transfer of prisoners between states, as a mechanism that operates transnationally and, in the process, enhances the importance of international prison standards. It concludes that the benefits of common prison standards are mixed. On the positive side, they have the potential to give states that are asked to extradite suspects, or transfer sentenced prisoners, leverage to demand the improvement of prison conditions in the receiving states. There is, however, a risk that states will accept and implicitly endorse sub-standard prison conditions in order to rid themselves of troublesome offenders.
Venezuela has two types of prisons: a prison regime ruled by a hierarchical organisation of armed inmates and the securitised ‘New Regime’ system under the control of the Ministry of Penitentiary Services. This article uses a comparative approach to examine how legitimacy is constructed in these competing yet co-existing prison regime formations in Venezuela. Both the Venezuelan state and the prisons under ‘carceral self-rule’ legitimate their respective carceral orders through discourses of left-wing emancipation that correspond with different phases of the Bolivarian project. Yet contradictions emerge from these legitimising discourses and neither regime conforms to its respective discourse of participation or socialism. In the state-abandoned, violent and hierarchical prisons under carceral self-rule, prisoners are only partially empowered, while in the New Regime prison types predation at the hands of one's fellow inmates is replaced by the violence of the ‘humanising’ state.
Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debates over prison dietaries in Britain and in its overseas colonies are the subject of Chapter 2. Although uniformity could easily have been imposed through the issue of a single dietary mandated across the nation, and then converted into local ingredients for use in all the colonies, differences of sex, race, and ethnicity were central considerations in the preparation of prison diet scales. This chapter explores gendered understandings of bodily labor within the British prison system and the impact of these ideologies on the dieting of different incarcerated populations. It then investigates how the racial and ethnic taxonomies deployed within a range of colonial prisons shaped the feeding of prisoners and in turn shored up broader imperial ideologies. It argues that prison authorities were animated by, and in the process reinforced, a variety of bodily imaginaries that distinguished British subjects from each other and thus had effects well beyond the walls of the prison. While in theory all might be equal before the law, after the law had passed its judgment, the bodies of criminals played an active role in performing, inhabiting, and thus reinforcing the categories of difference that structured British society.
This article traces the history of the way in which mental disorders were viewed and treated, from before the birth of Christ to the present day. Special attention is paid to the process of deinstitutionalization in the United States and the failure to create an adequately robust community mental health system to care for the people who, in a previous era, might have experienced lifelong hospitalization. As a result, far too many people with serious mental illnesses are living in jails and prisons that are ill-suited and unprepared to meet their needs.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people are more likely to be disproportionally placed in a secured setting such jails, prisons, and forensic hospitals. These settings can be traumatizing, hostile, and dangerous—especially for those who are suffering from mental illness. Administrators are encouraged to develop institutional policies that undoubtedly include that LGBT residents should be free of discrimination, victimization, and abuse. LGBT residents should have equal access to safe housing, vocational programs, rehabilitation services, as well as medical and mental health treatments. Several organizations provide guidelines to ensure that LGBT residents are protected. This article provides a general roadmap for developing LGBT policies in secured settings synergizing the recommendations of some of these organizations with emphasis on policy guidelines for transgender people that are not only standards for good care but also very cost-effective interventions that can help reduce symptoms of mental illness for this population.
The Williams’ gang slaves illustrate the long history of wrongful convictions of defendants of color in US courtrooms as well as the compatibility of slavery with incarceration. Still, it was not until the demise of slavery as an institution that black and brown people became a majority of those incarcerated. That trend continues to the present. The latest innovation in the long history of racism and the carceral state is the emergence of private, for–profit prisons and the prison–industrial complex. Much like the domestic slave trade of another time, captives of color are redistributed to locations where their labor is in highest demand for the profits of others. But already by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the historical memory of the internal slave trade was growing dim, the rich history of slavery in the very capital of the United States forgotten.
The celibacy within marriage of the secular clergy may have been a response to the celibacy of monks, because monks were becoming prominent in Western Christianity in the fourth century. Originally lay, without clerical orders, their relation to the ordinary clergy, while not hostile, was complicated and problematic from the start. What happened when clerics became monks or vice versa, for instance? Dealing with the interactions of these two elites would be a central role of the papacy ever afterwards. In the early papal legislation we see the start of this mediating role.
The final section of the book turns to the debtor’s body. Experiences of insecurity were profoundly physical, borne out through the threat of confinement and the loss of liberty. Read through the lens of the prison, the life cycle of debt, from contracting credit, to insecurity, to default, was an embodied experience, and the ways in which debtors’ bodies were treated have important implications for the characterisation of economic culture during Britain’s transition to capitalism. Chapter 6 describes the body as a site for negotiated relations of power and obligation. By uncovering how creditors inflicted different forms of harm on debtors, from the denial of liberty to violent physical assault, it reveals the coercive nature of credit. Failure to abide by the rules of credit was dealt with by incarceration and physical punishment. In an era normally characterised by politeness and the decline of violence, the treatment of debtors instead reveals an economy tinged with aggression and even violence.
Chapter 1 outlines the legal process of incarceration and the demographics of Britain’s debtors’ prisons, drawing on case studies from London, Edinburgh and Lancaster. It reveals that incarceration for debt was a routine practice rather than an exceptional experience. Britain was home to a substantial population of people living on a thin line between competency and failure. Middling people were especially vulnerable. A middling man in eighteenth-century England had a one in four chance of going to prison during his lifetime. Imprisonment affected their households, neighbourhoods and business networks, so that the impact of incarceration rippled through middling communities. The chapter argues that middling vulnerability was shaped by the legal system, which failed to protect individuals with middle levels of wealth and middle-size debts. While processes of bankruptcy and petty debt courts provided a means of negotiating the largest and the pettiest debts, the population of tradespeople with middle-sized debts, as both creditors and debtors, were underserved by the legal process. Arrest became the most expedient means for creditors to enforce simple debts.
The prisoner population is ageing, and consideration is needed for how to best support those with age-related health conditions in the system. Existing work practices and organizational structures often fail to meet the needs of prisoners with dementia, and prison staff experience high levels of burden because of the increased needs of these prisoners. Little is known about the best method of responding to the needs of this growing subpopulation of prisoners.
A scoping review was conducted to answer the question: what are the perceived best care options for prisoners with dementia? To be included, publications had to be publicly available, reported on research findings, or viewed opinions and commentaries on care practices relevant to older prisoners with dementia. Searches were conducted in 11 databases to identify relevant publications. Data from the included publications were extracted and summarized into themes.
Eight themes were identified that could support better care practices for prisoners with dementia: (1) early and ongoing screening for older prisoners; (2) specialized services; (3) specialized units; (4) programs or activities; (5) adaptations to current contexts; (6) early release or parole for older prisoners with dementia deemed at low risk of reoffending; and (7) training younger prisoners (8) as well as staff to assist older prisoners with dementia. Besides practical strategies improving care practice, costs, prison-specific resources, and staff skills were highlighted as care barriers across all themes. A lack of empirical evidence supported these findings.
One of the implications of the international ageing prison population is the higher number of people living with dementia being incarcerated. Suggestions for best care approaches for prisoners with dementia now need to move from opinion to empirical approaches to guide practice.
The high prevalence of tobacco smoking in prison, and certain aspects inherent in prison culture make smoking in that environment particularly difficult to regulate. Over the last decade, the UK government has adopted and sought to implement gradually its plan to make all prisons smoke-free nationwide. The UK Supreme Court recently ruled in Black that the Health Act 2006, which prohibits smoking in most enclosed public spaces, does not bind the Crown and consequently does not apply to public prisons. Both developments have implications for the human rights protection of smoking and non-smoking prisoners. This paper considers how English smoking and non-smoking prisoners’ (human) rights are currently protected, and what the legal implications are of a complete ban on smoking in English prisons. The paper reflects on whether an indoor smoking ban might strike a better balance between the competing rights and interests of smoking and non-smoking prisoners than a complete ban.
The United States today has the highest incarceration rate, as well as the largest number of people living under correctional control more broadly (including probation and parole), than any other country on the globe. The size of the American criminal justice system is not only internationally unparalleled, but it is also historically unprecedented. This apparatus is also deeply racialized. African Americans, Latinos, and indigenous populations (Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, Native American), are all represented in U. S. jails and prisons in numbers dramatically disproportionate to their representation in the population as a whole, and every non-White population is incarcerated at a rate far surpassing that of Whites. Notably, however, while the scale of today’s criminal justice system is unsurpassed and unprecedented, its severe racial disproportionality has always been a defining feature. Only by taking a close look at the long and deeply racialized history of the American criminal justice system, and more specifically at the regularly discriminatory application of the law as well as the consistent lack of equal justice under the law over time, can we fully understand not only why the American criminal justice system remains so unjust, but also why prison populations rose so dramatically when they did.
There is renewed interest in the inverse association between psychiatric hospital and prison places, with reciprocal time trends shown in more than one country. We hypothesised that the numbers of admissions to psychiatric hospitals and committals to prisons in Ireland would also correlate inversely over time (i.e. dynamic measures of admission and committal rather than static, cross-sectional numbers of places).
Publicly available activity statistics for psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland were collated from 1986 to 2010.
There was a reciprocal association between psychiatric admissions and prison committals (Pearson r=−0.788, p<0.001), an increase of 91 prison committals for every 100 psychiatric hospital admissions foregone.
Penrose’s hypothesis applies to admissions to psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland over time (dynamic measures), just as it does to the numbers of places in psychiatric hospitals and prisons in Ireland and elsewhere (static, cross-sectional measures). Although no causal connection can be definitively established yet, mentally disordered prisoners are usually known to community mental health services. Psychiatric services for prisons and the community should be linked to ensure that the needs of those currently accessing care through prisons can also be met in the community.
Within the neocolonial context of ‘Plan Colombia’ in the early 2000s, agents of the US Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) took up position in the heart of the Colombian penitentiary administration to lead a reform based on the United States’ ultra-punitive penal regime. This paper analyses how the reform was set up on the ground, shedding light on the partially divergent expectations of the two governments. Drawing on recent literature on the mobility of policies and built forms, the paper argues that the introduction of US-inspired prisons in Colombia is a striking case where a mobile policy and a travelling architectural type coincided and complemented each other.
Mental health and substance misuse disorders are associated with unnatural deaths in prisoners. Deaths in Irish prisons between 2009 and 2014 were retrospectively analysed using coroner's findings, including post-mortem toxicology. There were 69 deaths in custody, 38 of which met inclusion criteria. All deaths by overdose (16) were positive for illicit drugs; 53% of deaths (8 of 15) due to hanging were also positive for illicit drugs, and 29% of deaths (2 of 7) from other causes were toxicology positive. In conclusion, 26 unnatural deaths (68%) were associated with use of illicit drugs, which are a major contributory factor to deaths of prisoners.
Based largely on research completed in the North American context, scholars of prisons detail the multiple ways in which carceral practices extend beyond prison walls to transform a wide variety of spaces, ultimately assessing how carceral imaginaries inhabit the most intimate aspects of everyday life. In Latin America, this division between the inside and the outside of prison breaks down even further when read from the perspective of survival. Drawing on ethnographic research across Guatemala's penitentiary system, this article explores how the deep interdependencies that develop between male prisoners and female visitors sustain not just these prisoners and their visitors but also the prison system itself.