Navigating gendered criminalisation:Women’s experiences of punishment in the community

Harding, Nicola (2020) Navigating gendered criminalisation:Women’s experiences of punishment in the community. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

Full text not available from this repository.


Understanding the experiences of criminalised women as they navigate punishment and criminal justice supervision within the community is an area that has been largely overlooked within mainstream criminology. The implementation of Transforming Rehabilitation (2013) fundamentally changed the delivery of women’s community punishment, with a more formal move to integrating unpaid work and probation supervision into gender-specific community settings, such as women’s centres. This movement led to a contradiction between the pains of punishment and the aim of female empowerment traditionally associated with women’s centres. Despite this change, how women experience punishment in the community in a post-Transforming Rehabilitation era is still largely unknown. This research uses Participatory Action Research (PAR) within a Feminist methodology to co-produce with criminalised women a piece of research that draws attention to their daily experiences whilst subject to community punishment. This approach captures the ‘view from below’ and in doing so identifies how criminalised women must visibly manage trauma whilst demonstrating desistance to female practitioners to successfully navigate through the penal field. These practices are deeply gendered, with the female practitioner playing a significant gendered regulatory role via the mechanism of mimesis. Consequently, demonstrations of motherhood, homemaking, and physical transformation becoming key signifiers of reform. From the findings and analysis of this co-produced study, and within the space created by the Feminist PAR methodology, a new model that theorises how women navigate gendered criminalisation presented itself. This model offers a framework for understanding how punishment in a gender-specific support setting creates a specific mechanism of control that utilises gendered expectations as part of a regulatory process of gendered social control and reform. By understanding how punishment intersects with women’s daily lives, directly from criminalised women, this theoretical model offers the potential to explore the significance of gender and institutional social control beyond the penal field.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Dec 2021 14:11
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 12:17