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NCJ Number: 149565 Find in a Library
Title: Martha E. Wheeler: Redefining Women in Corrections
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(1994)  Pages:3-20
Author(s): J B Morton
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the work of Martha E. Wheeler, who promulgated a new direction toward equality in the women's correctional institutions through her revision of their operational standards.
Abstract: This article focuses on Ms. Wheeler's national leadership role in redefining standards of correctional practice for the treatment of female offenders. It begins with a brief overview of the antecedents, theories, rationale, and outcomes of early reform movements and the attempts to define standards of treatment for incarcerated women. This is followed by a review of Ms. Wheeler's experiences in four women's institutions that used programs based on the Women's Reformatory Movement. The changes in standards and direction developed by Ms. Wheeler are outlined. An analysis of Ms. Wheeler's role as a link between the past and present in the treatment of women in correctional facilities concludes the paper. The paper concludes that Ms. Wheeler's early experiences in women's reformatories convinced her that separatism was detrimental to successful programming for women. She viewed it as impractical from a management perspective and as limiting options for female offenders and staff. She believed institutions should realistically prepare women to support themselves and their children upon release by fostering feelings of self-worth and providing them with the skills required for meaningful employment. Both the Women's Reformatory Movement and the equality movement are intermingled in today's programming for female offenders. There are still gaps, however, that leave unmet many needs of the growing number of women entering the correctional system. 27 references
Main Term(s): Corrections standards
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Criminology; Female inmates; History of corrections; Women's correctional institutions
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