Experience Of The Criminal Justice System Criminology Essay

Today, we live in a gendered universe ; the differences are deemed by society and society defines what activities are appropriate for each gender. Work force are perceived as the more foolhardy gender that is seen as violent and angry, but they are the leaders and problems-solvers of our society. Womans are perceived as the gender that sets the illustration of appropriate behaviors – that is observant, caring by nature and passive instead than aggressive by nature ( Stainsby 2002 ) . When looking at the statistics of captivity for violent offenses, work forces dominate the statistics because force is seen as an indispensable facet male virility. When a adult female commits a offense, she is seen as pervert and confronting to the traditional gender function that society topographic points on her. In footings of condemnable behavior and the experience within the condemnable justness system, there are pronounced differences between male and female offenses. In New Zealand, by far, the bulk of offense, which includes high degree violent offending, is committed by work forces and adult females tend to perpetrate lower degree, non violent offenses, and do non be given to present a hazard to society. Though in recent decennaries, the figure of adult females who are under condemnable justness supervising or who are incarcerated has increased which leads to believe that the experience within the condemnable justness system is ever-becoming a gendered experience because adult females are being incarcerated for lower-level offending, in comparing to their male opposite numbers, because they are seen as perverts to the norm of female behavior.

Male and female wrongdoers portion a batch of features and are really similar in footings of their racial and cultural background, age and socioeconomic position. Incarcerated females tend to be immature ( two tierces are under the age of thirty-four ) , members of a minority group ( more than 60 % ) , have no spouse, partner, or important other ( 80 % ) , undereducated ( 40 % did non graduate high school ) and unemployed ( Beck and Mumola. 1999 ) . Contrasting to work forces, a big bulk of female wrongdoers are single, are female parents of kids under the age of 18, and are girls who have grown up in places without both parents nowadays ( Chandler, 1973:7 ; Freedman, 1981 ) . In add-on a typical feature of females who are incarcerated is their likeliness of holding survived sexual and/or physical force, peculiarly by a male relation or confidant spouse ( Greenfeld & A ; Snell, 1999 ) . Research besides shows that incarcerated females have experienced remarkably high rates of utmost physical and emotional maltreatment from parents or health professionals, engagement in drugs, and harlotry, whether or non they were imprisoned for these offenses ( Harlow, 1999 ) .

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When adult females commit a condemnable act, particularly a violent act, they evoke different reactions from members of the condemnable justness system because their behavior contradicts their gender function premises of being inactive and observant. Female condemnable behavior tends to look as a merchandise of mental, emotional, physical and societal jobs. The impact of physical and emotional maltreatment on adult females is frequently intensified by inordinate disadvantages and economic jobs ( Chandler, 1973:7 ; Freedman, 1981 ) . Early classical criminology theoreticians, such as Lombroso ( 1895 ) and Pollak ( 1950 ) have examined female criminalism. Historically, these theories about female criminalist have ranged from biological to psychological and from economic to societal. However these cultural and societal theories have been mostly applied to work forces and the pathological accounts have been applied to adult females ( Worrall, 1990 ; Horn and Evans, 2000 ) . For illustration Lombroso and Ferrero ‘s work on speculating female offending was based on biological elements. They studied skulls, encephalons and castanetss of female wrongdoers and cocottes and concluded that there were far less female felons than males and that cocottes had more anomalousnesss than female wrongdoers or normal adult females ( Lombroso and Ferrero 1895: 85 ) . The subject of classical criminology was extremely criticised by women’s rightists from the 1970 ‘s because of its blazing marginalization of adult females in the surveies conducted by Lombroso and secondly, there was a deficiency of appropriate gender analysis from when the adult females were studied and it was studied in a really limited and deformed mode ( Smart 1977: 26 )

Heidensohn criticised that the thoughts carried by Lombroso and Ferraro were cardinal premises carried by work forces ( Heidensohn 1985: 96 ) . Heidensohn puts frontward a different position when she examines how the societal apprehension of muliebrity affects adult females ‘s experience within a condemnable justness system. She argues that adult females tend to be treated more harshly than work forces do in instances where they do non suit the conventional societal norms of being a adult female. Heidensohn ( 1985: 44 ) besides notes, that a female who conforms to the stereotyped gender norm outlook tend to see less harsher results that female wrongdoers who do non. There are two characteristics that Heidensohn notes in the abrasiveness portrayed at female wrongdoers. First is the dual pervert statement ( Heidensohn 1985: 46-7 ) : which means that non merely has the female broken the jurisprudence, but she has besides offended the “ more cardinal norms which govern sex-role behavior ” ( Heidensohn 1970: 134 in Heidensohn 1985: 47 ) . This is because a female looking in tribunal is a really rare happening and seems like a less comprehendible thought than a adult male looking before the tribunal ( Heidensohn 1985:47 ) . The manner that females are punished for aberrant gender and sex functions is the 2nd facet of abrasiveness towards female wrongdoers ( Heidensohn 1985: 47-56 ) . Here Heidensohn identifies four averments ( 1985: 48-51 ) ; First, tribunals operate a ‘double criterion ‘ with sexual behavior merely penalizing misss for sexual activities. Sexual behavior by misss were perceived as morally hideous and so they are covering with more punitorily. Second, tribunal forces ‘sexualise ‘ female delinquency, overstating their offense. Following, ‘wayward ‘ misss end up being punished without really perpetrating a offense. Finally, adult females and misss who do non follow with conventional female stereotypes receive overly punitory interventions, making greater opportunities of being imprisoned.


Modern society knows more about adult females and offense than that which was understood 20 old ages ago. Criminology itself has been an country that has focused on male offending and captivity and the condemnable Acts of the Apostless of males which include white collar offense, street offense, violent offense and organised offense ( Goodstien, 2000 ) . Many theories of offense have been developed as an account about why males offend with small or no focal point that see adult females as condemnable or culprits of condemnable Acts of the Apostless. There are significant differences in the offenses committed by work forces and adult females, and the few theoreticians that looked at female criminalism employed gross premises about females that were sexist and had no empirical support. Criminology has so applied traditional theories of offense, which explain male criminalism, to adult females. This has created a job of generalization because its attack has been tainted by features which explain a male attack to societal world and criminalism. In this sense, it has made adult females unseeable in the condemnable justness system because they are repressed by a male apprehension of offense and condemnable offending. This has led a batch of female wrongdoers to see a high experience of an highly gendered experience of the condemnable justness system.