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NCJ Number: 183821 Find in a Library
Title: Docile Bodies? Chemical Restraints and the Female Inmate
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:90  Issue:2  Dated:Winter 2000  Pages:599-634
Author(s): Kathleen Auerhahn; Elizabeth Dermody Leonard
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 35
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines the historical antecedents of the use of chemical restraints on female inmates in the context of other responses to women's deviance and identifies the consequences of this practice through the use of in-depth, semistructured interviews with 42 female inmates in a California prison.
Abstract: The drugging of prison and jail inmates with psychotropic agents is not a new phenomenon. There is evidence that such drugging has been occurring in U.S. prisons and jails since at least the 1970's. Based on evidence that female inmates are more likely to receive psychiatric drugs in correctional or detention facilities, this current study analyzed both quantitative data from a national sample of prison inmates and qualitative data that consisted of interviews with 42 incarcerated women concerning their experiences in pretrial detention. Based on its findings, the study concludes that women's medication in prisons and jails is best understood in the context of a historical tradition of "treatment" responses to the behavior of deviant women. Like other treatment-oriented strategies directed at the female offender, the drugging of female inmates can result in disproportionately harsh outcomes for these offenders; for example, the drugging of jail detainees before and during trial can raise some serious problems regarding the accused's ability to participate in her own defense and to receive due process of law. Although the use of chemical restraints throughout the criminal justice system is a problem that deserves further study, the medication of women in particular involves some unique theoretical and practical issues that should be examined in greater depth by criminological researchers. 118 notes and appended descriptions of various types of medications administered to female inmates
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Drug effects; Female inmates; Inmate health care; Prescription drugs; Treatment techniques
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