Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Past Isn't Who I Am: Perception of Safety among Women on Probation in Coconino County
by Kohlbeck, Bailey S., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2019, 137; 13883715
Abstract (Summary)

In 2016, one in 55 adults in the United States was on either probation or parole. While probation affects many people, there is little academic research about the lived experience of people on probation, especially women. In this paper, I focus on the effects of perceived safety among women who pass through the Coconino County Adult Probation Department. The study explores: (1) how women on probation in Coconino County perceive their safety; (2) how women on probation believe their perceived safety affects their behavioral decisions, emotional health, physical health, mental health, and social health; and (3) how perception of safety changes over the course of their experiences with the criminal justice system. Data collection consisted of 34 face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and administration of the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire to willing interviewees. Using a combination of theoretical frameworks for interpretation (biopower, critical feminist theory, face, critical medical anthropology, and others), findings are presented in five categories: trauma, perceived safety, health consequences, structural violence, and resilience. Many women on probation described histories of trauma domestic violence, which they often connected with subsequent drug use and incarceration. Over the course of this research, I found that structural violence operating within the probation system hinders completion of probation and encumbers women to the criminal justice system. Stigmatizing women and treating them as perpetrators leads many women to internalize this view of their own experiences of suffering. In this thesis, I use the concepts of structural violence and biopower to consider perceived safety in relation to victimization, stigma, recidivism, and the reasons so many women described feeling grateful for the system of discipline in which they were embedded.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Eaves, Emery
Commitee: Hardy, Lisa, Moses, Sharon, Trotter II, Robert
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Department of Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Criminology
Keywords: Dangers, Health consequences, Probation, Safety, Trauma, Women
Publication Number: 13883715
ISBN: 978-1-392-28584-8
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