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NCJ Number: 51542 Find in a Library
Title: AFRO-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE - THE WOMEN IN NEW YORK CITY'S JAIL
Journal: AFRO-AMERICANS IN NEW YORK LIFE AND HISTORY  Volume:1  Issue:2,  Dated:(JULY 1977)  Pages:201-210
Author(s): C FEINMAN
Corporate Author: Afro-American Historical Assoc of the Niagara Frontier
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Afro-American Historical Assoc of the Niagara Frontier
Buffalo, NY 74216
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TREATMENT PROGRAMS INSTITUTED BETWEEN 1932 AND 1975 FOR AFRO-AMERICAN WOMEN IN NEW YORK CITY'S CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN ARE REVIEWED FROM A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.
Abstract: THE FOUR MAJOR AREAS OF CONCERN IN THE REVIEW ARE RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND SEGREGATION, INMATES AND THEIR OFFENSES, REHABILITATION PROGRAMS, AND REINTEGRATION INTO THE COMMUNITY. PRINCIPAL SOURCES OF DATA INCLUDE INTERVIEWS WITH CUSTODIAL AND CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONAL STAFF AND ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION. THE HOUSE OF DETENTION FOR WOMEN (HDW), THE FIRST INSTITUTION EXCLUSIVELY MAINTAINED FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN IN THE CITY, WAS OPENED IN 1932. RACIAL SEGREGATION WAS AN INSTITUTIONAL PRACTICE UNTIL THE EARLY 1950'S WHEN SERVICES AND PROGRAMMING IMPROVED FOR AFRO-AMERICAN INMATES. THE FIRST LARGE GROUP OF AFRO-AMERICAN OFFICERS JOINED THE STAFF IN THE 1950'S AND AT THE END OF THE DECADE ACCOUNTED FOR APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT OF THE STAFF. BY 1975, AFRO-AMERICAN WOMEN CONSTITUTED 85 PERCENT OF THE INMATE POPULATION AND 95 PERCENT OF THE CUSTODIAL STAFF AT THE NEW YORK CITY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN, THE NAME SUBSEQUENTLY GIVEN TO THE HDW. THE YEARS BETWEEN 1932 AND 1975 REVEALED CHANGES IN THE INMATE PROFILE THAT PERTAINED TO MARITAL STATUS, AGE, RELIGION, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND OFFENSE. BETWEEN 1930 AND 1940 DRUG ADDICTS, MOST OF WHOM WERE WHITE, COMPRISED AN INSIGNIFICANT PROPORTION OF THE INMATE POPULATION. IN THE 1950'S, WHEN THE INMATE POPULATION BECAME PRIMARILY AFRO-AMERICAN, DRUG ADDICTS USUALLY ENTERED AS ADDICTS ALTHOUGH CHARGED WITH OTHER OFFENSES. THE COWORKER DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION PROGRAM TO ESTABLISH A COMMUNITY RESIDENCE AND TRAINING PROGRAM FOR FEMALE EX-OFFENDERS WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. OTHER REHABILITATION ACTIVITIES INVOLVED TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE INSTITUTON, PRETRIAL RELEASE, EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING, AND INSTITUTIONAL WORK RELEASE SERVICES. THESE PROGRAMS WERE NOT BENEFICIAL TO AFRO-AMERICAN WOMEN, AND, BECAUSE OF SEX ROLE STEREOTYPES AND RACIAL BIAS, TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR THESE WOMEN TAUGHT LOW-PAYING TRADITIONAL SKILLS RELEGATED TO WOMEN. AFTER RELEASE, MOST WOMEN WENT ON WELFARE OR RETURNED TO THEIR FORMER MANNER OF EARNING MONEY. AFRO-AMERICAN WOMEN DID NOT SUFFER DISCRIMINATION WHILE INSTITUTIONALIZED BUT THEIR REINTEGRATION INTO SOCIETY WAS HINDERED BY RACIAL AND SEXUAL PREJUDICES. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Correctional institutions (adult); Discrimination; Inmates; Minorities; New York; Sex discrimination
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51542

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