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NCJ Number: 186373 Find in a Library
Title: Age, Role Changes and Gender Power in Family Relationships: The Experiences of Older Female Partners of Male Prisoners
Journal: Women & Criminal Justice  Volume:12  Issue:2/3  Dated:2000  Pages:63-93
Author(s): Helen Codd
Editor(s): Donna C. Hale
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 31
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the effect of a prison sentence on an inmate’s female partner, with particular reference to the impact on “older” women.
Abstract: The article considers the gender role changes prompted by imprisonment, and the strategies utilized by women in coping with the consequent strain. Past research on the effects of imprisonment have tended to concentrate on the offender and the victim, failing to consider the impact on the offender’s family. The article draws on the findings of a research project conducted in the United Kingdom, which focused on the experiences of women who were older than most women in relationships with imprisoned men. Eleven female partners of male prison inmates were interviewed, the youngest of whom was aged thirty-eight, the oldest in her mid-sixties. All women described their ethnic origin as white and all in heterosexual marital relationships. Partners were serving sentences ranging from six months to life for offenses ranging from deception to murder. Once a man was imprisoned, women took on new roles or extend existing roles, becoming visitors, providers, counselors to their partners, and main household breadwinners. Older women drew on their previous life experiences as a strategy for coping. These new or enhanced roles are discussed in detail. The analysis of the attitudes and experiences of older female prisoners’ partners demonstrates the challenges faced by women in times of change and crisis in their relationships, stressing their coping strategies. Notes
Main Term(s): Families of inmates
Index Term(s): Family support; Female sex roles; Females; Feminism; Gender issues; Inmate marriages
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