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In Search of Safety takes a close look at the sources of gendered violence and conflict in women’s prisons. The authors examine how intersectional inequalities and cumulative disadvantages are at the root of prison conflict and violence and mirror the women’s pathways to prison. Women must negotiate these inequities by developing forms of prison capital—social, human, cultural, emotional, and economic—to ensure their safety while inside. The authors also analyze how conflict and subsequent violence result from human-rights violations inside the prison that occur within the gendered context of substandard prison conditions, inequalities of capital among those imprisoned, and relationships with correctional staff. In Search of Safety proposes a way forward—the implementation of international human-rights standards for U.S. prisons.
“Profoundly humanistic and sensitively informed by the intersection of social, cultural, historical, and structural sources of identity and opportunity. In this remarkable book we see how cumulative disadvantages and harms associated with gender find their fullest, and often cruelest, expression in the state-sponsored harms meted out in prisons for women. The mix of methods and the theoretical sophistication found in this volume set a new standard for prison research, if not for social research generally. This book is destined to be a classic.”—Robert Johnson, coeditor of A Woman Doing Life and Life without Parole
“The authors have engaged in the best kind of research—the kind that is informed by rigorous fieldwork, courageous writing, and nuanced analysis. They clearly understand women’s and girls’ experience in custodial settings and are unafraid to amplify what is known but also to chart new and interesting territory.”—Brenda V. Smith, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law, and former Commissioner, National Prison Rape Elimination Commission
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