Marking Time in the Golden State: Women's Imprisonment in California

Overview

The nature of criminal punishment has undergone profound change in the United States in recent decades. This case study of women serving time in California in the 1960s and 1990s examines this recent history. Drawing on archival data, interviews, and surveys, the authors' analysis considers the relationships among official philosophies and practices of imprisonment, women's responses to the prison regime, and relations between women prisoners.

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Overview

The nature of criminal punishment has undergone profound change in the United States in recent decades. This case study of women serving time in California in the 1960s and 1990s examines this recent history. Drawing on archival data, interviews, and surveys, the authors' analysis considers the relationships among official philosophies and practices of imprisonment, women's responses to the prison regime, and relations between women prisoners.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fascinating account of the changing ways in which women experience and resist imprisonment. By revisiting David Ward and Gene Kassebaum's classic study of women's imprisonment and then comparing it to the experiences of contemporary women in the same penal institution in California, Rosemary Gartner and Candace Kruttschnitt provide a richly textured and original analysis of changes in the nature of punishment that occurred over the second part of the twentieth century. Marking Time in the Golden State should re-energize the flagging field of prison ethnography in the U.S.A. while providing a timely reminder of the gendered nature of punitive practices and beliefs." Mary Bosworth, Wesleyan University

"This is a carefully conducted and timely study of the evolving practices and ideologies of womenas imprisonment. It shows that women in prison are no longer too few to counta. It is stimulating, authoritative, and well balanced, and explains how the experience of imprisonment for women in prison has changed in very significant ways over time." Alison Liebling, Cambridge University

"Over the last four decades the experience of imprisonment has been mass distributed in the United States on a scale and to a degree of severity unprecedented in the history of democratic societies. During the same time, a once vigorous empirical sociology of the prison has largely slumbered, interrupted only by increasingly dark theoretical visions. This book is our wake up call." Jonathan Simon, University of California, Berkeley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521825580
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Criminology Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: the study unfolds; 1. Women, crime and punishment; 2. Entering the inmate's world: methods; 3. Time after time: women's experiences of imprisonment at the California institution for women in the 1960s and the 1990s; 4. Variations across time and place in women's prison experiences; 5. Negotiating prison life: how women 'do time' in the punitive era of the 1990s; 6. Conclusion: the spectrum of women prisoners' experiences; Appendix. Characteristics of interviewees; References.

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