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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127260 Find in a Library
Title: Rendering Them Harmless: The Professional Portrayal of Women Charged With Serious Violent Crimes (From Gender, Crime and Justice, P 81-94, 1987, Pat Carlen, Ann Worral, eds. -- See NCJ-127255)
Author(s): H Allen
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Open University Press
Bristol, PA 19007
Sale Source: Open University Press
1900 Frost Road
Suite 101
Bristol, PA 19007
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The depiction of female offenders and their serious violent crimes in Court reports by psychiatrists and probation officers in Great Britain follows a distinct and sexually specific pattern that tends toward the exoneration of the female offender and uses discursive techniques that are either absent or unusual in cases involving male offender.
Abstract: Thus, these reports systematically neutralize the assertion of the woman's guilt, responsibility, and dangerousness, thereby undermining any demand for punitive or custodial sanctions. Unlike reports regarding male offenders, reports regarding female offenders also deal extensively with the offender's mental condition, often asserting that at the time of the crime she was acting without conscious volition, without comprehension, or without meaning. The reports also emphasize the various privations and unhappiness that the defendant has endures and the importance of keeping the woman in her home and family. Such descriptions of violent female offenders are offensive to feminism in many ways, but they also sustain a logic that many feminist discussions support that emphasizes denial and exculpation of female criminality. Notes
Main Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Female offenders
Index Term(s): Female sex roles; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Violent offenders
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