TITLE & REFERENCE: Gelsthorpe. L. Cited by Newburn. T. (2009) Women and criminal justice: saying it again, again and again, 32. 1, Key readings in Criminology This chapter focuses on women in prisons, and how the criminal justice system affects women and their children. It discusses how women are now treated by the system and the recent steps taken in order to ensure that females in prisons are treated with an effort to ensure that their needs are taken into account and followed through.
It is discussed within the article several reasons for the surge in the female population in remand, one theory that is discussed is that when a women is sentenced the resons are set out that she is ‘troubled’ or ‘troublesome’ (Hedderman and Gelsthorpe cited by Gelsthorpe, page 770) And whatever is perceived will then lead to incarceration or another punishment. She also mentions that the probation services will not provide ‘adequate attention’ for offenders considered ‘lower risks’ (Gelsthorpe. L.)
Women and criminal justice: saying it again, again and again, 32. 1, Key readings in Criminology. Page 771) which could lead to reoffending in the future as the support provided is not sufficient to help the woman who is on the receiving end. Within the chapter statistics are put forward regarding the self harm and suicide statistics of women, but there is no evidence included within this argument, so we have no evidence that these statistics are correct, and no way to analyse the validity of the selected information.
Although Gelsthorpe talks about the suicides of female prisoners in prisons, she fails to counter-argue this with the suicides of males in prisons. Looking at the statistics provided by the Howard League for Penal Reform ten-year analysis, there were 804 suicides in UK prisons between 1995-2005. 65 were women, and 17 were children; which means that 722 of the suicides were male prisoners, which is a much higher figure than the female statistics.
Towards the end of her argument Gelsthorpe mentions how the criminal justices system should be ‘gender proofed’ as ‘at least 8000 children a year are affected due to their Mother’s imprisonment, (Gelsthorpe. L. Women and criminal justice: saying it again, again and again, 32. 1, Key readings in Criminology. Page 771) However there is no comparison to the figure of children left without a Father because of his incarceration.