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NCJ Number: 120309 Find in a Library
Title: Gender and Justice: The Equal Protection Issue (From American Prison: Issues in Research and Policy, P 89-109, 1989, Lynne Goodstein and Doris Layton MacKenzie, eds. -- See NCJ-120304)
Author(s): N H Rafter
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview; Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After examining the historical roots of the unequal correctional treatment of women, this chapter identifies structural problems that perpetuate the problem, describes new equal protection litigation, and explores possible responses to the problem.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, researchers have compared conditions under which men and women are incarcerated. They have all concluded that women have fewer educational and vocational programs; less opportunity for work release, recreation, and visitation; and fewer medical and legal resources. Their institutional job assignments are often more limited in number and type, and they may be classified according to criteria established for men. Historical conditions combine with the structural factors of women as a minority inmate population and cultural views of the female gender role to perpetuate the unequal correctional treatment of women. In recent years, women have brought a series of lawsuits charging jail and prison officials with discrimination on the basis of sex through failure to meet the ideal of justice as equal treatment. All the cases contrast the conditions of male and female inmates. The courts have ruled that existing inequities for women inmates are unconstitutionally discriminatory and no longer permissible. These decisions require changes that may radically restructure ways in which penal systems allocate funds, plan programs, and make institutional assignments. 53 references.
Main Term(s): Female inmates
Index Term(s): Equal Protection; Sex discrimination
Note: From Volume 4 in the Law, Society, and Policy series.
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