Scholarship in criminology over the last few decades has often left little room for research and theory on how female offenders are perceived and handled in the criminal justice system. In truth, one out of every four juveniles arrested is female, and the population of women in prison has tripled in the past decade. Co-authored by Meda Chesney-Lind, one of the pioneers in the development of the feminist theoretical perspective in criminology, The Female Offender: Girls, Women and Crime, Third Edition redresses these issues.
In an engaging style, authors Meda Chesney-Lind and Lisa Pasko explore gender and cultural factors in women's lives that often precede criminal behavior and address the question of whether female offenders are more violent today than in the past. The authors provide a revealing look at how public discomfort with the idea of women as criminals significantly impacts the treatment received by this offender population. The text covers additional topics such the interaction of sexism, racism, and social class inequalities that results in an increase of female offenders, as well as the imprisonment binge that has resulted in an increasing number of girls and women being incarcerated.
Chapter Three: Girls, Gangs, and Violence
Girls, Gangs, and Violence
Girls Gone Wild?
Although arrest statistics still reflect the dominance of status and other trivial offenses in official female delinquency, the 1990s saw a curious resurgence of interest in girls, often girls of color, engaged in nontraditional, masculine behavior—notably joining gangs, carrying guns, and fighting with other girls. The beginning of the 21st century continued this “bad girl” discourse, with an added focus on white girls' relational aggression and bullying as an undiscovered, concealed culture.
The increase in the arrests of girls for “other assaults” added fuel to this fire. Since the mid-1980s, arrests of girls for this offense have increased by nearly 200%, and by 2009, more than one out of three juveniles arrested for “other assaults” was female ...