The Prison Research Gender Gap

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Clare Hagen Joshua Cochran


By Clare Hagen, Criminal Justice

Advisor: Joshua Cochran

Presentation ID: AM_A61

Abstract: Researchers have argued that incarcerated females are studied significantly less when compared to incarcerated males. By extension, theory and knowledge about incarceration experiences and their impacts are informed primarily by our understanding of the experiences of men. The purpose of this study is to develop a more systematic understanding of the "state" of the incarceration research literature and our knowledge about female incarceration by bringing data to bear on prior gender-based critiques of this literature. This study has two specific aims: (1) To quantify the prevalence and nature of research on female inmates in top-tier criminology and criminal justice journals and (2) to provide a roadmap for future theory, research, and policy that seeks to better understand and account for gender differences relevant to prison and corrections. Data for this study stem from a systematic literature search of articles from 1980 to 2017 in three journals: Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and Justice Quarterly. We then coded studies that examined any topic related to incarceration and inmate experiences while incarcerated for the following variables: year, topic, institution type, presence/absence of a female sample, presence of gendered theory, and gender-specific analysis. These articles (N = 80) became the basis of our study.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- A: Social Justice & Social Well-Being