Self-Harm and Suicide

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


The marginalization of ‘criminal women’ is well documented. In contrast to male offenders, the assumed ‘exceptional’ behaviour of women who offend is often interpreted as irrational, unpredictable and a denial of ascribed servile femininity. Frances Heidensohn (1985, p.74) identifies two ‘widely held views about female offenders’. The first centres on assumptions of abnormality and individual pathology. Second, those who commit crimes that carry a prison sentence are considered ‘especially … mentally ill or otherwise highly deviant’, explaining why there are so few women prisoners. The ‘implicit assumption being’ that women prisoners are ‘less reclaimable, more vile, more “unnatural” than male’.


Personality Disorder Female Prisoner Previous Suicide Attempt Sanitary Towel Prison Guard 
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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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