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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Black Women Face More Violence Under ‘Prison Nation’, Book Says


I’ve believed for years that our country’s undue emphasis on “law and order” and punishment  over addressing the root causes of crime has damaged communities and individual lives. Findings in this book reinforces my strong reservations of reacting to problems out of fear rather than building people up.

From the 4 September 2012 article at Science Daily

Black women in poor neighborhoods have faced increasing violence because public policy has focused on unconditional punishment, not prevention, according to a new book by a public policy expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Beth Richie, author of “Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation” (New York University Press, 2012) directs UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.

Harsh sentencing since 2000, especially for drug trafficking, combines with gender dynamics in black neighborhoods to propel some women into violent relationships and crime, Richie says.

“I define the ‘male violence matrix’ as violence against women that has its roots in patriarchal arrangements, as well as by communities, institutions, and agencies organized around patriarchal power and male supremacy,” said Richie, who is professor of African American studies and gender and women’s studies at UIC.

Most political responses to the culture of punishment address its effect on men, Richie said.

“While the impact on men is clear, there are also significant ways that women experience the negative effects of the prison nation, especially those women who also experience gender violence.”……


September 5, 2012 - Posted by | Public Health | , , , , ,

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