Feminist criminology emerged out of the realisation that criminology has from its inception centred on men and the crimes they commit. Although it can be argued female criminality was researched by Lombroso, as far back as 1800’s, female crime, it’s causes and the impact in which it had on society was largely ignored by the criminological futurity. Those Criminologist who did attempt to research female crime such as Thomas and Pollak were not only very damning of women but were also very condescending, choosing to stereotype them as either Madonna or whore (Feinman). Law abiding women were described as passive, obedient, chastic, childlike whereas the deviant as aggressive, defiant, sexually impulsive, becomingly adult and even masculine in nature. (Law.jrank.org/pages1218/feminist criminology) It is argued by feminists that these views have stayed in the psyche of those in the criminal justice system despite the fact that over the years much research has challenged and discredited these antiquated views, theses perceptions still linger which in turn has meant that as victims or perpetrators of crime, women have been and still are discriminated against purely on the basis as to whether they are “good “or “bad” women.
During the last 20 years, there has been a profound change in the manner in which women are treated within the criminal justice system. This has been a result of more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to reentry that uniquely affect women. In response, the consideration of a gender-specific approach to studying criminal justice policy has moved from a mere footnote to a full-fledged reform movement. GROWTH OF WOMEN UNDER CORRECTIONAL SUPERVISION
•More than one million women are currently under the supervision of the criminal justice system in the U.S.1
•More than 200,000 of these women are confined in state and federal prisons or local jails.2 •Expanding at 4.6% annually...