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The Abandoned Delinquent By: Katelyn Dunn A Research Paper About The Unfair Treatment Of Women In Prison

2166 words - 9 pages

Katelyn DunnProfessor WhiteDecember 1, 2003Research PaperThe Abandoned DelinquentSeveral generations ago, a young woman's dreams were not filled with the sweet taste of graduation from college, or the aspiration of solely owning her own boutique. Before the long battle for equality started, this woman could only aim for the dreary illusion of being a housewife or secretary. Today the war for equality is not over, but many significant fights have been won. The granddaughter of the young girl whose dreams were not allowed to take flight now has countless opportunities to do what she was born to do. This granddaughter can dream to be anything she wants, and then grow to achieve it.The equality ...view middle of the document...

The judgments made will be thoroughly explained and proven for each realization. Furthermore, the personal but affirming testimony of Cynthia Wilson will be disclosed as authentic evidence. There is an obvious need for this overview of the facts, which will explain the severity of this intolerance and how the United States can bring a halt to this bias.Over the last hundred years this injustice has evolved from generation to generation, but is not resolved. In the early 1900s, there was a historical push to "rehabilitate" the female convict not "punish" her. For the first time in history, separate institutions were erected for the sole detainment of female convicts. This concept is further explored by Susan Datesman in her book, Women, Crime & Justice. "They [the female prisons] were usually referred to as 'reformatories' or 'industrial homes' to distinguish them from penitentiaries" (Datesman 258). The male penitentiaries never experimented with this idea of reform. The fact that male convicts were not included in the rehabilitation process proves that society put women on a pedestal, where the felony of a convicted criminal is merely a fault that (with time) can be abolished. The reformation, referred to in Women, Crime & Justice, is "that women should be detained in the institution for as long a time is necessary to achieve the desired level of 'rehabilitation'" ( Datesman 258). Consequently, during this time period female criminals were victims to purely sex-based sentences. Their jail sentences were much longer than a man who was convicted of the same exact crime. This transformation was put into effect because society supposedly cared about its female criminals. The next logical question is, how quickly did society forget about those convicted girls and women that they wanted so desperately to help and rehabilitate?As the decades past, 'rehabilitation' faded into the shadows. The new method of female incarceration evolved during the 1960s. This evolution of sheer neglect is stated as the following: "In the 1960s, women were referred to as the forgotten offenders by those who wanted to call attention to their plight and to bring about changes in their situation" (Simon 77). There are a couple specific reasons why female offenders continue to be overlooked. The public's belief was, and still is, that women are not capable of committing a felony. Ironically, the fact that women account for a minute percent of the imprisoned is partially responsible for driving this myth generation through generation.Time and again, male penitentiaries have been overcrowded and dangerous. On the other hand, women penitentiaries are under-crowded and extremely low-key. The reality that female institutions do not have the rioting or danger of male penitentiaries plays an enormous part in the desertion of our mothers, daughters, and sisters in jail. In the book, The Crimes Women Commit, The Punishments They Receive, the author, Rita Simon, reports the...

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