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Soledad Women: Wives of Prisoners Speak Out

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Overview

Little attention has been paid to the lives led by families of prisoners. Using a feminist approach, the author explores how the lives of 25 wives of prisoners at Soledad prison are affected by the incarceration of their husbands. Relationships, stigma, coping, finances, children, the prison system, and rehabilitation are explored through in-depth interviews. This study describes the experiences of the wives and seeks to connect their experiences to a conceptual framework that explores the context of sex, race, and class inequalities. The author discusses prison policy recommendations to improve the lot of prisoners' families, emphasizing the ways in which life is organized in families where the husband/father is imprisoned. Several themes emerge in this work. The powerful role of the wife, women as caretakers, and the subordinate position these women hold in society due to their sex, class, and race, are some examples. Recommendations are made to ease the burden of visiting, and encourage maintenance of family roles.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Girshick (sociology and women's studies, Warren Wilson College) examines the experiences of the wives of incarcerated men based on in-depth interviews with 25 prisoners' wives. Issues covered include the women's experience of living with secrets, relationship realities, finances, visiting, dealing with the system, and the role of the family as well as a concluding section providing policy recommendations and research data. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275954093
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Pages: 160
  • Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

LORI B. GIRSHICK is on the faculty of Warren Wilson College, where she teaches sociology and women's studies courses.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: I Leave in the Dark of Morning 1
Ch. 1 Why Study Wives of Prisoners? 9
Ch. 2 Families and Incarceration 23
Ch. 3 Living with Secrets 35
Ch. 4 Relationship Realities 47
Ch. 5 Family Finances 59
Ch. 6 Visiting at the Prison 69
Ch. 7 Dealing with the System 81
Ch. 8 The Role of the Family 95
Ch. 9 Prison Policy and Recommendations 109
Ch. 10 Wives as Caretakers: There's More to It than That 117
Appendix A Questionnaire 123
Appendix B Follow-up Survey Summary 127
Appendix C The Author on Her Research Experience 131
References 135
Index 143
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