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How Formerly Incarcerated Women Confront the Limits of Caring and the Burdens of Control Amid California's Carceral Realignment

NCJ Number
Feminist Criminology Volume: 1 Issue: 14 Dated: 2019 Pages: 89-114
Date Published
26 pages
Given the current large-scale effort in California to reduce its reliance on incarceration, this study drew on in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated women on two different forms of community supervision in one California county to offer a conceptual framework for understanding how women experience the goals of community supervision and to examine what the decarceration shift means for women in the criminal justice system.

The proposed conceptual framework reasons that because actual rehabilitation is often off-limits, institutional goals are organized around caring, control, and self-governance; caring is exhibited by supervision officers in lieu of substantive assistance toward rehabilitation; control for the sake of public safety remains a key aim of community supervision; and self-governance is an unstated institutional goal through which women are forced to take on the invisible work of managing their own rehabilitation. The author further argues that decarceration's continued emphasis on control for the sake of public safety impedes the transformative potential of efforts to restructure the crime-processing system. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019