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Women's Imprisonment and the Case for Abolition : Critical Reflections on Corston Ten Years on
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In 2007, the Corston Report recommended a far-reaching, radical, ‘women-centred’ approach to women’s imprisonment in England and Wales. It suggested a ‘fundamental re-thinking’ about how services to support women in conflict with the law are delivered in custody and in the community, recommending the development and implementation of a decarceration strategy. This argued for appropriate treatment programmes in the community, reserving prison for only those women who commit serious and violent offences. Ten years on, what progress has been made? What is the relationship between Corston’s vision and a more radical abolitionist agenda?
Drawing on a range of international scholarship, this book contributes to the critical discourse on the penal system, human rights, and social injustice, revealing the consequences of imprisonment on the lives of women and their families. A decade on from Corston's publication, it critically reviews her report, revealing the slow progress in meeting the reforms it proposed. Identifying the significant barriers to change, it questions the failure to reverse the unrelenting growth of the women’s prison population or to transform state responses to women’s offending. Reflecting the global expansion of women’s imprisonment, particularly marked in advanced democratic societies, the chapters include comparative contributions from jurisdictions where Corston’s recommendations have relevance. It concludes with a critical appraisal of reformism and the case for penal abolition.
Essential for applied and theory courses on prisons, punishment, and penology; social justice and the criminology of human rights; gender and crime; and feminist criminology.