No Safe Haven / Edition 1

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Overview

Incarcerated women in the United States are largely an invisible population because of their small numbers, their involvement in less violent and serious offenses, and their neglect by most criminologists. Yet all too often prison has become a dumping ground for women who lack options for self-support, or who need drug treatment, job training, or a haven from battering.

This work draws on the life stories of forty women inmates at a minimum security prison in North Carolina. It explores their lives before imprisonment, enabling the reader to understand their incarceration within the context of childhood and adolescent experiences, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, low education levels, and poor work histories. Lori B. Girshick relates the prisoners' views of doing time, the criminal justice system, and their own rehabilitation. She also interviews family members, friends, and social service providers to show how support networks function or fail.

Girshick argues convincingly that the treatment of women in society creates circumstances that lead some of them to break the law, and she makes specific recommendations for policies that address the need for social change and for community programs designed to deter crime.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Though the women's prison population is small, it is growing, and the needs of incarcerated women can be quite different from men. Girshick (sociology, Warren Wilson Coll.) interviewed 40 prisoners at the Black Mountain minimum security prison in North Carolina, as well as members of their families and prison staff and volunteers, to learn more about the women's prison experience. She discusses the women's backgrounds, their concerns about their families, the support services they need in order to make their lives better, and their hopes for the future. It is especially interesting to learn why the volunteers decided to become involved with the prisoners and what feelings they have toward the inmates. Though Girshick could have expanded her suggestions on how to improve the prison experience and on ways communities are succeeding in keeping women out of the prison system, her book makes an interesting addition to criminology, women's studies, and sociology collections.--Danna C. Bell-Russel, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Booknews
Drawing on interviews with 40 women inmates at a minimum security prison in North Carolina and their families, friends, and social service providers, Girshick (sociology and women's studies, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC) argues that treatment of women creates circumstances that lead some of them to break the law. Incarcerated, they remain a largely invisible population as unsafe and insecure as outside of prison. She makes policy recommendations for community involvement and societal changes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555534677
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 7/6/2000
  • Series: Series on Gender Crime and Law
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 0.49 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

LORI B. GIRSHICK has dedicated her life to working for social justice and ending inequalities. A nationally known trainer in LGBT domestic and sexual violence and LGBT sensitivity, she is author of three books, Soledad Women: Wives of Prisoners Speak Out (1996), No Safe Haven: Stories of Women in Prison (Northeastern, 1999) and Woman-to-Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Callit Rape? (NUP, 2002). Currently she is a professor in Sociology at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Arizona. JAMISON GREEN is an educator, policy consultant, and corporate diversity trainer specializing in transgender and transsexual issues. He serves on the boards of directors of the Transgender Law & Policy Institute and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. He is also a member of the advisory boards for the Institute for Intersex Children and the Law and the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Becoming a Visible Man (2004).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
2 Women in Prison 17
3 Growing Up 29
4 Adult Lives and the Crimes 51
5 Doing Time 75
6 Family and Friends 105
7 Addressing Chronic Needs through Programming 135
8 Community Involvement and Societal Change 162
9 No Safe Haven: Policy Recommendations and Concluding Remarks 182
Index 197
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