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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97702 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Legally Mandated Change on Women Prisoners (From Criminal Justice Politics and Women - The Aftermath of Legally Mandated Change, P 1-10, 1985, Claudine SchWeber and Clarice Feinman, ed. - See NCJ-97701)
Author(s): C SchWeber; C Feinman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Press, Inc
Binghamton, NY 13904
Sale Source: Haworth Press, Inc
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines three cases dealing with the inequitable treatment of women prisoners -- the Garnes case in Washington, D.C. and the Costello and Chambers cases in New Jersey. It also discusses compliance with the intended reforms.
Abstract: In the Garnes case, women were paroled later than men with similar sentences and circumstances. In the Costello and Chambers cases, women received longer sentences than men with similar criminal experiences and convictions. In all instances women sought relief first from the courts and then from the legislature. While an end to discriminatory treatment as sought by the plaintiffs was ordered by courts in Washington, D.C. and in New Jersey, the impact was significantly different. In Garnes, a settlement became effective on December 10, 1976, stipulating that D.C. women would remain in Federal prisons but would return to D.C. Department of Corrections' jurisdiction at least 9 months before their parole eligibility date. However, it was not discovered until 1981 that the agreements made in the case were not being carried out. Further, action was not taken to correct this failure until 1982. Unlike the Garnes case, the Costello and Chambers cases produced the intended reform, a gender neutral sentencing code that went into effect in September 1979. These studies reveal that legally mandated change is just a paper victory without effective implementation. Finally, they suggest that court orders and statutes may be just the beginning of women's struggles to change the condition of their lives. Included are 33 notes.
Index Term(s): Case studies; District of Columbia; Female inmates; Female offenders; New Jersey; Sex discrimination
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