A Brief Note On Criminology And The Criminal Justice System Essay

A Brief Note On Criminology And The Criminal Justice System Essay

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Historically, criminology was significantly ‘gender-blind’ with men constituting the majority of criminal offenders, criminal justice practitioners and criminologists to understand ‘male crimes’ (Carraine, Cox, South, Fussey, Turton, Theil & Hobbs, 2012). Consequently, women’s criminality was a greatly neglected area and women were typically seen as non-criminal. Although when women did commit crimes they were medicalised and pathologised, and sent to mental institutions not prisons (Carraine et al., 2012). Although women today are treated differently to how they were in the past, women still do get treated differently in the criminal justice system. Drawing upon social control theory, this essay argues that nature and extent of discrimination experienced by women is influenced by patriarchal ideologies of gender conformity (Morris, 1987). The violation of both cultural and gendered norms, results in women offenders to be labelled as mad, bad, or sad, and as the sexualised female offender, masculinised female offender, mad female offender, and the victimised female offender, by the criminal justice system and society to explain their criminality (Weare, 2013). The case studies of Tania Witika, Macsyna King and sex workers in New Zealand demonstrates how discrimination can impact upon women’s experience within the criminal justice system, as stereotypes determines which kinds of women are more likely to be arrested, found guilty, imprisoned or referred for psychiatric treatment (Carraine et al., 2012).

In criminological history, discrimination against women was so evident and naturalised because for centuries, the underlying concept of ‘patriarchy’ or the power of men over women made it acceptable to stereotype women to subordina...


... middle of paper ...


...m of ‘good’ motherhood for women because, “no one likes to believe that the hand that rocks the cradle might be a shaky one” (Otto, 1981, as cited in Heidensohn, 1996: 783). Thus, being a ‘good’ mother resonates with being a ‘good’ feminine person to be valued in society (Heidensohn, 1996). The dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothers operates as a means of patrolling, controlling and reinforcing the boundaries of behaviour considered ‘appropriate’ for all women and mothers (Weare, 2013). Ongoing implications for women to be ‘good’ females, mothers and role models, affects how women are socialised, controlled and given opportunities to commit crimes (Morris, 1987), but more importantly, it relies on stereotypes to explain women’s criminality. Consequently, the portrayal of women is a determining factor in their treatment within the criminal justice and in society.

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A Brief Note On Criminology And The Criminal Justice System Essay

- Historically, criminology was significantly ‘gender-blind’ with men constituting the majority of criminal offenders, criminal justice practitioners and criminologists to understand ‘male crimes’ (Carraine, Cox, South, Fussey, Turton, Theil & Hobbs, 2012). Consequently, women’s criminality was a greatly neglected area and women were typically seen as non-criminal. Although when women did commit crimes they were medicalised and pathologised, and sent to mental institutions not prisons (Carraine et al., 2012)....   [tags: Sociology, Crime, Criminal justice]

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