Whores and Thieves of the Worst Kind: A Study of Women, Crime, and Prisons, 1835-2000

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Inspired by her experience teaching in three of them, Dodge (history, Westfield State College, Massachusetts) explores the treatment of women in Illinois prisons from the early 19th to the late 20th century. She focuses on convicted felons to investigate who the women were; their crimes; how patterns of criminality, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing shifted over the decades; their prison experience and efforts to resist or accommodate the regimes; and other aspects. ...
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Overview

Inspired by her experience teaching in three of them, Dodge (history, Westfield State College, Massachusetts) explores the treatment of women in Illinois prisons from the early 19th to the late 20th century. She focuses on convicted felons to investigate who the women were; their crimes; how patterns of criminality, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing shifted over the decades; their prison experience and efforts to resist or accommodate the regimes; and other aspects. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875802961
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Graphs and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 "She Will Benefit from Further Disciplinary Treatment": The Historiography of Women's Imprisonment 11
2 "One Female Prisoner is of More Trouble than Twenty Males": Female Convicts at the Alton Penitentiary, 1835-1858 24
3 "The Most Degraded of Their Sex, If Not of Humanity": Female Convicts at the Joliet Penitentiary, 1859-1896 36
4 "For God Sake Your Honor Let Me out of Here": Nineteenth-Century Pardon Petitions 52
5 "An Act Becomes a Crime According to the Community in Which It Is Committed": The Social Construction of a Criminal Act 67
6 "Lured Traveling Salesman to Her Room": The Character of Women's Crimes, 1890-1960 89
7 "Whores and Thieves of the Worst Kind": A Collective Profile of Female Prisoners, 1890-1960 110
8 "Defective Degenerates" versus "These Poor Unfortunates": Managing Female Felons and Delinquent Girls, 1896-1919 127
9 "The Rottenest Hole in the Whole Prison System of Illinois": Joliet Women's Prison in the 1920s 140
10 "We Seem to Be Dealing with a Psychopathic Personality": Psychiatric Constructions of Female Criminality 159
11 "Success upon Parole Is Doubtful": Women before the Parole Board 178
12 "Discipline and Morale Have Not Been Satisfactory": The Rise and Fall of the Domestic Ideal, 1930-1954 201
13 "I Have Trouble Getting Her to Live by the Rules": Surveillance and Control, 1954-1962 220
14 "Punished for Vulgarity and Unladylike Behavior": Dwight's Final Decade as a Reformatory, 1962-1972 242
Conclusion: Lessons for the Twenty-First Century 258
App. A: Notes on Archival Sources 267
App. B: Interviewees 271
Notes 273
Bibliography 317
Index 331
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