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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119758 Find in a Library
Title: Compounded Misunderstanding: Relations Between Staff and Girls in an Italian Juvenile Prison (From Growing Up Good: Policing the Behavior of Girls in Europe, P 145-157, 1989, Maureen Cain, ed.)
Author(s): G Ferrari-Bravo; C Arcidiacono
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Italy
Annotation: This study analyzes an attempt to "integrate" girls into an Italian penal institution originally containing only boys.
Abstract: Conducted in 1982-83, the study was based on direct observation and participation in institutional activities as well as interviews at successive intervals with staff and the girl inmates. A case analysis of all the girls admitted during 1982 was performed, with data collected from institutional files. One of the prison's units consisted of a section of girls and a section of boys. The girls were incorporated into the institutional routine, in the same activities and at the same times as the boys. A typical day involved morning training activities in the workshops, school work, and leisure activities. In the evening, boys and girls could use the communal areas of their respective sections. The female inmates insisted on being managed by male officers. A year and 4 months after the opening of the female section, a revolt occurred in which a significant proportion of the girls and boys took part. The revolt lasted 2 days and did not involve any violence against persons or property. The revolt apparently involved a number of girls and boys who had developed an attachment to one another and apparently wanted to stay together over night. This incident exposed the flaws in the integrated system. The intention of the system was to duplicate the "normal" interaction of females and males on the outside. The patriarchy of the larger society was duplicated in the institution (male staff supervision). Girls were allowed to interact with boys but without expressing overt sexual behavior. By placing the girls and boys in a closed traditionalist society, the institution could only expect that various forms of individual rebellious behaviors would emerge. Institutions must re-examine their concepts of femininity in a more enlightened age, giving attention to the needs of individual women for autonomy and individual development. 3 notes.
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Coeducational corrections facilities; Female sex roles; Italy; Juvenile correctional facilities
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