Gender Inequality In Criminal Justice

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Gender is one dimension of social status that determines how an identical behaviour is differently labeled. The justice system reinforces patriarchal authority and therefore systems of inequality. Just Mercy brings attention to the phenomena that sees the majority of women incarcerated for nonviolent, low level drug crimes, or property crimes. Women like Marsha Colbey are put on death row after unpredictable circumstances and lack of means to access resources. In the case of Marsha, she was convicted to life imprisonment after her son was stillborn due to a miscarriage. Her poverty and past of drug abuse framed her as a bad mother and labeled her as a murderer despite her efforts to revive the child. Women are in prison for minor offences and have been sentenced for extended amounts of time. Current sentencing laws are based on male characteristics and male crime and thus fail to take into account the reality of women 's lives, characteristics, responsibilities, and roles in crime. Gender pathways to law breaking are dominated by females who had suffered from physical and/or sexual abuse, labeled as troublesome (juveniles), neglected, powerless to have agency. As a response to the grim upbringing many women run away and become involved in illegal drugs distribution, prostitution, and are consequently arrested and prosecuted “for their own protection” (Meda Chelsey-Lind, 2008). Most of the women who are in prison lived with children at the time of the arrest and therefore

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