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Women and Crime

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Student no. 2316203

Module. Psy3460

Module Leader. Jackie Gray

Women and Crime (2nd Edition)

By Frances Heidensohn & Jo Campling (Ed)

UK: Palgrave Macmillan. 1996. Pp.242.  £19.99. ISBN 0 333 64209 0

This is the second edition of Frances Heidensohn's Women and Crime and has been carefully revised since the 1985 edition to provide the reader with a modern perspective of female offenders.  The book investigates the current status that female offenders hold within the criminal justice system and the inappropriate treatment they receive.  For readers familiar with the first edition the most apparent difference is the final chapter which

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The book at first demonstrates case studies of various women both high profile (e.g. suffragettes and the green ham women) and unknown and gives the reader an opportunity to perceive the problems that women face when being dealt with by the criminal justice system.  The problems range from the differential treatment between men and women in prison to the neglect of female criminals by male criminologists.  The second section of the book attempts to explain some of these problems which is the initial aim of the book.  However, Heidensohn gives non-definitive answers which leaves the reader to mentally construct questions such as, have changes been made? Is there room for further improvement? And are there solutions?

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The book is aimed at female criminals, feminists, students, professionals and those interested in the study of crime.  The layout of this book is very well structured and the way in which the case studies are introduced at an early point gives the reader a taste and a better understanding to the theoretical approaches that are discussed in the later chapters.   Some chapters are lengthy in content, however, in the conclusion Heidensohn states how the reader must understand how necessary all the information is in order to get her views across.  This is considered as accurate as although Heidensohn may not fulfil the requirements of answering her own questions in the book.  The information is most certainly significant to area of female criminality.

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