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Contribution to Book
Black Feminist Prison Politics
Broadening the contours in the study of Black politics. Political development and Black women (2016)
  • Duchess Harris
Because women are a minority of inmates, they are often overlooked by and excluded from studies about the precursors to and results of incarceration. However, activists and scholars who have worked in prison settings are aware that the experience of incarceration for most women is qualitatively different than the experience of incarceration for men. In 1998, the Department of Justice released an issue brief in which they conceded that female offenders have needs different from those of male offenders, stemming in part from their disproportionate victimization from sexual or physical abuse and their tendency to maintain primary responsibility for children. Female inmates are also more likely to be addicted to drugs and to have mental illnesses. These factors collude to make the experience of prison fundamentally different for women than for men; however, other aspects of identity intersect with gender to make the prison experience still more complex. Race and class oppression are additional barriers in the lives of incarcerated women, complicating the already formidable challenge of reentry for women who are confronting multiple oppressions.
Publication Date
Michael Mitchell, David Covin
Transaction Publishers
National Political Science Review
Citation Information
Duchess Harris. "Black Feminist Prison Politics" New Brunswick, NJBroadening the contours in the study of Black politics. Political development and Black women Vol. 17:1 (2016)
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