Women behind Bars

  • Linda Moore
  • Phil Scraton
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Reflecting a growing literature on women’s imprisonment, Diana Medlicott (2007, p.246) notes that historically it has been a ‘shadowy phenomenon’ as the discrete needs of women prisoners have remained unidentified, institutionally subsumed within policies and practices that prioritize a majority male prison population. Neglecting women’s experiences, and written as if ‘gender did not matter’ (Bosworth, 2000, p.266), traditional penal histories have ignored ‘the physical presence of women in prisons and the fact that prisons themselves are gendered institutions, reflecting and reinforcing beliefs about sexual difference’ (Rafter, 1990, p.xii). Further, the experiences of Black and minority ethnic women have been marginalized and largely absent from prison histories.


Prison Population Aboriginal Woman Prison System Female Prisoner Male Prisoner 
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Copyright information

© Linda Moore and Phil Scraton 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Moore
    • 1
  • Phil Scraton
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Criminology, Politics and Social PolicyUniversity of UlsterUK
  2. 2.School of LawQueen’s University BelfastUK

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