We began this book by pointing to three modern areas of concern that linked women and crime. These were, firstly, the growing numbers of women in prison; secondly, the very low percentage of rape and sexual assault cases that currently produce a guilty verdict; and thirdly, the recent press attention to the (unfeminine) violence of ‘girl gangs’. These are all issues that, we argued, are hard to understand without an appreciation of the history of gender. Sexual violence against women, violence as a component of female juvenile deviance and the penal incarceration of women are separate and distinct subjects. However, viewed historically it becomes clear that each of them have depended on the dispositions of power by gender which have constituted (some) women and girls as deviant and punishable; these include the field of criminal justice but also exceed it.
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Louise A. Jackson
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