The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice

Posted: November 27th, 2013

The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice










The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice

1. Incarcerated Women who are Parents

The state of Arizona boasts of being the highest incarcerator of women in the country. However, the women state prisons are very poor in terms of the conditions they keep the women in. Most of the women in the Arizonian prisons are non-violent offenders. Most of them are first time offenders and drug or alcohol related crime doers. More than half of these women are parents. The incarceration of these women causes great costs to be incurred by the state since costs related to foster care for the children and guardianship are very high (Zaitzow & Thomas, 2003).

These children also fall in the risk bracket of becoming incarcerated themselves due to poor parenting and tough physical upbringing. If the incarceration of women continues in such a high rate, the costs that the state and the country are going to incur will increase exponentially. The state should institute community-based programs for the non-violent women offenders that shall combine education, drug rehabilitation, parenting assistance and other social practices. This would cost very little compared to what the state incurs if these women are incarcerated and millions in taxpayers money would be saved (Sharp & Muraskin, 2007).








2. Incarcerated Women working in Prisons and Jails

In the state of Arizona, there has been the abuse of the women in the prisons to work in private companies and provide cheap labor to them. The Arizona Department of Correction has been providing prisoner labor to private businesses for a very long time. The women are paid meager wages of about two dollars per hour excluding the travel time to and from the prison. Regardless of the Arizona state law that requires all able-bodied inmates to work, the pay that these inmates get should be increased with about seventy percent. Most of these women are mothers and supporting children at home is very hard (Talvi, 2007).

The conditions in which the inmates work in some of these farms are very harsh. Being women, they are made to hoe and weed plants for eight hours a day. Most times, they run out of medical supplies and sunscreen, which is very necessary in such cases.  The prison at times sends women to work in these fields regardless of their medical conditions. The state government of Arizona and the federal government of the United States of America should look into the matters of prison working, reduce the use and abuse of prisoners on private farms, and increase their wages and working conditions (United States, Bureau of International Labor Affairs).










Sharp, S. F., & Muraskin, R. (2007). The incarcerated woman: rehabilitative programming in women’s prisons. Michigan, MI: Prentice Hall.

Talvi, S. J. A. (2007). Women behind bars: the crisis of women in the U.S. prison system. New York, NY: Seal Press.

United States, Bureau of International Labor Affairs. The apparel industry and codes of conduct: a solution to the international child labor problem? New York, NY: DIANE Publishing.

Zaitzow, B. H., & Thomas, J. (2003). Women in prison: gender and social control. New York, NY: Lynne Rienner Publishers.


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