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Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice - Essay Example

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Empirical research indicates that the female offender patterns of criminal behavior have not changed significantly since the late eighteenth century, this research can be further enhanced by studying arrest, court, and prison case records which indicates that almost all women involved in crime continue to commit crimes traditionally associated with other females, such as larceny/theft, prostitution, drunkenness, fraud, and homicide involving family members or male friends…
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Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
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Download file to see previous pages However this is not necessary, as research shows certain cases where women are convicted to such acts just in order to gain internal satisfaction, which indicates psychological disorders.
Prostitution, which is considered to be a common societal dilemma today, was not, always, a criminal offence in England. In eighteenth century; the prostitution offences were specifically soliciting, living off immoral earnings, and running 'houses of ill fame', but these were enforced selectively. Manifestly neither the proprietors, nor the women who catered for gentlemen in these establishments, were perceived as members of a criminal class or professional criminals; and at this end the profits were handsome. The less salubrious 'houses of ill fame' were more vulnerable, though even in some of the poorest districts the police did not interfere with them. (Chesney, 1970) Women could be violent. Some beat, or otherwise ill-treated, servants and apprentices; on occasions such violence went too far and landed them in court. (Crime and Punishment in Eighteenth-Century England, 1989) Women fought each other; less commonly they fought with men and, like Jane Smith, a few fought with the police. Like their men folk Irish women had a particular reputation in this respect. (The Unwritten Law: Criminal Justice in Victorian Kent, 1991)
Today a chivalry perspective holds the view that male officers are reluctant to arrest females, thus reducing the number of female offenders counted. Also it is observed that most women offenders are never caught because of the types of crimes they commit. (Otto, 1950) Finally, some observers claim 'paternalism' toward female offenders in the juvenile and criminal justice systems that effectively operates as a filtering-out mechanism. Official accounts, which are largely based upon arrest and court data, are the basis for the compilation of most crime and delinquency statistics. Court data introduce the potential problems of diversion, paternalism, or chivalry, which may distort the number of female offenders. The number of female arrests presents the 'danger of using the terms arrest and crimes committed interchangeably, and arrest statistics may not be the most reliable source of data for determining actual crime rates.'
(Rita James Simon, 1975, p. 36)
Three different aspects can examine the dilemma of female crime; first, all the specific offenses which are historically associated with female offenders. (Carol Smart, 1976, p. 6-8). The second area of focus includes those offenses for which women and girls are more frequently arrested as indicated in the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports (1978). Third, a number of offenses that are generally considered unusual from female characteristics.
Violent Crimes
Most crimes of violence by females take place in the family setting where the victims are usually the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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