The analysis of women in the UK criminal justice system disclosed the attitude to females in criminology perceiving them as workers, offenders and victims. Throughout centuries the criminal justice system ignored women as offenders; the 20th century changed the situation completely impacting the place of females in criminology. (Chesney-Lind, 2008)
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Present manner of women’s treatment within criminal justice system is of discriminating character; this fact is closely connected with transformed low enforcement efforts, post-conviction barriers and stiffer form of drug sentencing laws. The gender responsive type of the criminal justice system appeared to be predominantly defined through male standards providing strong discrimination against females expressed through social disadvantages in women’s life.
The criminal justice consequences are considered to be rough for the women being connected with the sphere of criminology. There is a number of factors influencing women’s treatment in the criminal justice system. Social and family factors also influence the attitude to women under the supervision. Male dominance is strongly expressed and reflected on further life of imprisoned women. Besides, female violence victims are never provided with enough safety and support. The statistical data have shown that about 17 700 children are deprived of their mothers through their imprisonment. It is necessary to underline the fact that women with children face rough disadvantages in the workplace organization. (Engendering Justice, 2003)
The criminal justice system provides low support of female victims; as a result only 15% of all the crimes and assaults are officially reported to the police. The increase of domestic crimes and sexual offences is closely connected with national policy on women’s violence. The discrimination expressed against women in criminal justice system is also demonstrated through inadequate services in women’s prison; in most prisons for men they are aimed at rehabilitation by means of education, abuse treatment and health services.
Besides, women’s imprisonment means a number of barriers to social resources, such as transitional income, public housing and employment. Criminal justice system provides great limitations for the women’s reintegration in the community. (Williams, 2004) Criminal record is considered to be principle obstacle in the gainful employment for women; besides, such women have low income giving no opportunities to raise socioeconomic status through education or employment.
Social disadvantages are connected with low career opportunities; it was identified that women earn considerably less than males almost in all professional spheres. The overview of women in criminal justice system demonstrated rapid increase of females’ crimes in comparison with males’ ones. This factor is the background for women being discriminating against within criminology sphere. Women’s disadvantages and limitations in the sphere of social life are connected with high promotion of male dominated culture with strongly identified male standards and norms. (Engendering Justice, 2003)
Gender responsive type of criminal justice system provides great disadvantages and discrimination against women reflected in all spheres of life. Social and family factors influenced the changes within criminal justice system in its attitude towards women offenders. Females are discriminated against under the impact of political pressure aimed at reduction of the number of women’s crimes in modern society; there are several special programs developed at this goal fulfillment and criminology limitation for women is considered to be one of them. The Government is to develop national campaign in order to decrease sexual and rape violence together with the rate of discrimination against women in the criminal justice system.
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Engendering Justice: from Policy to Practice – New Report on Women and the Criminal Justice System. 2003.
Chesney-Lind, M. Women and the Criminal Justice: Gender Matters. 2008.
Williams, L. Women, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System. Feminist Press. 2004.