The current state of the prison system particularly with regards to the plight of imprisoned single mothers was effectively discussed by Gaines and Miller in their 2007 book “Criminal Justice in Action. ” The literary work put the public in thinking and action mode as to the structure and manner of incarcerating women offenders, single parent in particular. Through the use multimedia system, the authors presented that disturbing realities exist within the criminal justice system (Gaines et al 2007).
In particular, Gaines, Miller and Miller corroborated the perspective that female criminals, as compared with male offenders, are more undermined in relation to their physical, mental and emotion conditions inside prison facilities (Gaines et al 2007). To achieve effectiveness, the book, in its chapter called “Behind Bars: The Life of an Inmate” provided readers with real-life accounts and existing conditions of prisoners.
Aside from the comprehensive discussions about cyber crime and terrorism as primary adversaries of the criminal justice system, Gaines, Miller and Miller supported the concepts of oppression and cruelty experience by lawbreakers. Specifically, the two explicitly wrote on the reported sadistic situations of women offenders who were subjected into the prison system (Meiners 2007). Women in Prison
Prison is not an isolated institution; it is part of a continuum in the control of women, whether by our lack of access to economic independence, violence, racism or specific laws that target women such as prostitution and social security. The society that condemns the behavior of women it imprisons, yet accepts the treatment prisoners are given inside is at best hypocritical, but perhaps more correctly, sadistic. (Lees 2001). The above-mentioned statement from Amada George (1993), concretely depicted the
disturbing and damaging condition of female criminals who were subjected to the structure of prison. The said article by the community-based association called Justice Action stated that because of the prison system, women offenders are seized from their respective families and societies (Lees 2001). Thereafter, these ill-fated female criminals as packed into a congested and repressive prison setting, detached them from people and communities and above all make them suffer hostility, persecution, rough treatment, racial discrimination, lifelessness and futility (Lees 2001).
Such overview also noted that the particular issues concerning women’s imprisonment were generally ignored (Lees 2001). Apparently this is due to the fact that compared to jailed male criminals, women in prison is only a small percentage in the prison system and the criminal justice system in general. However, with a clear depiction of the real condition of female offenders in various prison facilities, it is now evident that they truly endure damaging imprisonment condition and that this needs to be addressed, if not resolved.
The growing population of women in prison nowadays has gained significant concern primarily because of the idea that among the women criminals who are locked-up in jails, a bigger percentage is comprised of married women who are already parents or mothers and majority of which are the only guardians of their children. This fact, alone, may serve as a wake-up call for authorities and the overall system to implement changes as regard the situation of single mothers.
In fact, compared with married female offenders whose parental responsibilities are shared with their spouses, these sole guardians agonize more with their prison conditions. This is because aside from being isolated from their children prior to imprisonment or even after giving birth, in cases of mothers giving birth inside the prison, the gloomy perspective of their children being left alone and exposed to outside cruelties as well as put into foster homes or eventually adopted is an unbearable torture for them (Lees 2001).