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Inequalities Within The Criminal Justice System

3303 words - 13 pages

This essay will crucially consider whether there is inequalities within the criminal justice system between mothers and fathers, this will analyses a lot of statistics about males and females within prison with ratios of mothers in prison and that is compared to fathers, also compare between the crime and relations to the crime to show a clear cut understanding if there is or isn’t inequalities. The essay will discuss criminological theories linking in to how crime is seen in society the differences of each gender having committed the same crime the theories that will be used is, feminist theory which will focus on how mothers end up in prison and also how they are treated differently to fathers within the criminal justice system. The second theory will be the strain theory this will be about how strain and pressure can build up to a criminal act being carried out by females and the aftermath of being convicted, this will relate to how children become a victim between parents being incarcerated and the focus on the strain that goes through a mother compared to a father. Other approaches that link within the feminist and strain theory is oppression, social control and male domination, which will relate to how the construction of non-controllable actions would lead the pathway to prison for mothers and fathers and how these factors play a huge role.
It could be argued, and has been argued, that all sorts of bias, sexist language and behaviour are still common and still enter the criminal justice process consequent on the sex of the offender this is because the criminal justice system can favour potential female offenders meaning more men appearing as known offenders (Pollak, 1950). However men are more predominantly to commit more serious crimes then women, and men and women commit the same crimes however not on the same level of seriousness. (Walklate, 2004, p. 6). Males and females within the criminal justice system have inequalities and this does not just have to be in sentencing and the ratios on how many are convicted however it follows more than just gender differences, Bill Fawcett talks about how a system made by men for men is the fundamental issue that exist meeting the needs for men however restricting the needs for women. (Fawcett Society, 2007).
Lombroso and Ferrero findings show how all women having potential to commit crime ‘the... semi-criminal present in the normal woman’ (Davies, 2001, p. 129). These deficiencies are usually kept in check by piety and maternity and therefore had low offending rates are made to see them more occasional offenders than born criminals. (Mooney, 2000, p. 40).
In 2001 only 19 per cent of known offenders, that is, those cautioned or found guilty by the criminal justice system, were women (Home Office, 2002). Due to the high ratio of men in prison there is more male prisons in England and Wales compared to female prisons with Wales not even having a female prison meaning that around 800 women would...

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