No-Woman’s Land? On Female Crime and Incarceration, Past, Present, and Future
By Guy Geltner
Justice Policy Journal, Volume 7, No. 2 (2010)
Abstract: The perception of penitentiaries as male institutions dates back to the late Middle Ages, when urban governments across Europe began constructing prisons as cogs in their growing machineries of justice. Already then, female incarceration contrasted sharply, intentionally, and symbolically with that of men, rendering women prison “incasts” in ways that parallel their marginal and vulnerable situation today. And yet few of the major pains of incarceration afflicting modern female prisoners seem to have been common to the experiences of their medieval predecessors. What made the difference, and how can it inform approaches to female inmates and female criminality in general?