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Gender, Psychology, and JusticeThe Mental Health of Women and Girls in the Legal System$
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Corinne C. Datchi and Julie R. Ancis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479819850

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479819850.001.0001

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Women, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System

Women, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System

Cyclical Linkages

(p.224) 9 Women, Poverty, and the Criminal Justice System
Gender, Psychology, and Justice

Erica G. Rojas

Laura Smith

Randolph M. Scott-Mclaughlin II

NYU Press

Systemic issues related to the feminization of poverty have profound influences on women’s interactions with the criminal justice system, yet the field of psychology has contributed little to informing the responses of justice officials and mental health practitioners to poor women who come into contact with the law. The criminal justice system operates to disenfranchise low-income women by criminalizing nonviolent behaviors that frequently derive from their disadvantaged economic status and through inflexible institutional policies that result in the incarceration of growing numbers of women who live below the poverty level. This chapter elaborates on the linkages between the feminization of poverty and crime that influence women’s initial contact with the criminal justice system, contribute to gender-biased institutional policies, and exacerbate the stigma that incarcerated women face when returning to their communities.

Keywords:   poverty, crime, women, incarceration, stigma, criminal justice system

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