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NCJ Number: 154228 Find in a Library
Title: Centro Femenil: A Women's Prison in Mexico
Journal: Social Justice  Volume:20  Issue:3-4  Dated:(Fall-Winter 1993)  Pages:85-128
Author(s): J M Pearson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 44
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The author conducted research at the Centro Femenil, a woman's prison in Mexico, and found that the facility places primary emphasis on collective rights buttressed by traditional cultural and family supports.
Abstract: Permission was obtained from the facility's general director to visit, photograph, and interview inmates and staff. Many inmates opened up and expressed their views. Many conveyed a sense of freedom inside the facility that prison officials attributed to an emphasis on re-educating and readapting prisoners using an educational model. Most inmates came from very poor and often illiterate families, and those who had attended public schools often had not advanced beyond the primary level. The family's importance in the facility was obvious, and inmates personalized their spaces. Imprisoned mothers and their children lived on a prison wing that had been a hospital ward when the facility was a mental hospital. The author found that daily life is organized around the midday meal. Rather than increasing the stress that results when a woman is deprived of her personal attachments, the facility attempts to provide a community that strengthens and maintains traditional institutions and informal group controls. The goal is to help women and children become stronger and less vulnerable to crime and interpersonal violence. Although the facility has no isolation cells, it has a disciplinary cell and administrative segregation. The facility houses violent female inmates, as well as disabled, brain damaged, and criminally insane women. Individualized treatment is offered to inmates, and efforts are made to maintain family ties during incarceration. 26 references and 11 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Children of incarcerated offenders; Female inmates; Foreign correctional facilities; Foreign inmates; Inmate Programs; Mexico; Women's correctional institutions
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