Breaking the Cycles of Women through Equality not Difference

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Over the past decade a consensus has been emerging amongst policy makers, reform groups, voluntary agencies and academics that women offenders should be treated differently by the criminal justice system and in particular by the courts. This desire for differential treatment has culminated in the call for abolishing women’s imprisonment growing louder and gaining momentum. This chapter will explore the theoretical basis for this call for reform questioning ‘why’ women should be treated differently from men and trying to refine the way in which we think about women offenders as ‘different’. This chapter will discuss how and why women offenders’ status is depicted as that of victims, carers, oppressed, and/or offenders and whether a debate based on such reduced women’s status is sufficient to justify the call for a different approach to sentencing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and Criminal Justice
Subtitle of host publicationFrom the Corston Report to Transforming Rehabilitation
EditorsJill Annison, Jo Brayford, John Deering
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
ISBN (Print)9781447319313, 9781447319306
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • differential treatment
  • sentencing
  • women's imprisonment
  • women's treatment


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