To understand the life-course narratives of women who leave the California prison system, life history interviews were used. The focus was on how they perceive their identities and how their life trajectories have been influenced by social institutions (i.e., family and education). Reform to California penal policy is recommended based on the experiences discussed in the interviews. It is thus proposed, based on the narratives, that policy be community-oriented for effective prevention, intervention, and reintegration programming and strategies. While reform is needed within government, it must largely come from within communities in which crime and trauma have been normalized. Part of the process is changing the way in which communities are defined as “ghetto” or “crime-ridden” and how such definition influences women’s lives. To change how women in this study are defined socially and legally, public perception of them has to expand beyond the lens of crime and conviction.
|Commitee:||Klein, Wendy, LeMaster, Barbara|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Criminology, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Identity, Life-course, Narrative, Prison, Social institutions, Women|
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