Cover for BUTLER: Gendered Justice in the American West: Women Prisoners in Men's Penitentiaries

Gendered Justice in the American West

Women Prisoners in Men's Penitentiaries

This is the first book to deal in depth with the ugly realities that made life in prison even more difficult for women in the American West, revealing neglected and forgotten lives and for the first time adding their voices and experiences to the saga of the American West.

In this shocking study, Anne M. Butler shows that the distinct gender disadvantages already faced by women within western society erupted into intense physical and mental violence when they became prisoners in male penitentiaries.

Drawing on prison records and the words of the women themselves, Gendered Justice in the American West places the injustices women prisoners endured in the context of the structures of male authority and female powerlessness that pervaded all of American society. Butler's poignant cross-cultural account explores how nineteenth-century criminologists constructed the "criminal woman"; how the women's age, race, class, and gender influenced their court proceedings; and what kinds of violence women inmates encountered. She also examines the prisoners' diet, illnesses, and experiences with pregnancy and child-bearing, as well as their survival strategies.


"A disturbing yet engrossing book. . . . Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of violence, punishment, prisons, and women in the American West. Photographs of women inmates, many of whom bore the earmarks of physical punishment, complement the text and continue to haunt this reader." -- Myra C. Glenn, Journal of American History

"Butler makes visible people hitherto ignored in the historical record. This powerful, well-documented study . . . challenges and recasts interpretations on the nature of violence in the history of the American West by linking gender, power, and the violent male world of the penitentiary. . . . Indispensable." -- Choice

"A richly detailed, wonderfully accessible book that captures both that captures both the humanity of women prisoners and the inhumanity of male-built, male-run and male-focused prison systems. . . . An extremely important contribution to our understanding of the history of women in the criminal justice system." -- The Journal of San Diego History

"A fascinating socio-historical account of the experience of women in the criminal justice system of the western and north central United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Strongly recommended to anyone interested in a socio-historical analysis of women in the criminal justice system. Butler writes well and with sociological insight." -- Cynthia L. Phillips, The Great Plains Sociologist

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/36bxh7ry9780252068799.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Religion and Sexuality

The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community

Lawrence Foster

Japanese American Midwives

Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950

Susan L. Smith

Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery

Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90

Anne M. Butler

Camp Harmony

Seattle's Japanese Americans and the Puyallup Assembly Center

Louis Fiset

Sisters in Spirit

Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective

Edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson

Anti-Indianism in Modern America

A Voice from Tatekeya's Earth

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn

The Frontier against Slavery

Western Anti-Negro Prejudice and the Slavery Extension Controversy

Eugene H. Berwanger

Contented among Strangers

Rural German-Speaking Women and Their Families in the Nineteenth-Century Midwest

Linda Schelbitzki Pickle

Sounds of the New Deal

The Federal Music Project in the West

Peter Gough

In Pursuit of Gold

Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West

Sue Fawn Chung

Cowgirls of the Rodeo

Pioneer Professional Athletes

Mary Lou LeCompte

God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land

Faith and Conflict in the American West

Todd M. Kerstetter

The Roots of Rough Justice

Origins of American Lynching

Michael J. Pfeifer

The Rise of the Centennial State

Colorado Territory, 1861-76

Eugene H. Berwanger

The Making of "Mammy Pleasant"

A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco

Lynn M. Hudson

Mining Cultures

Men, Women, and Leisure in Butte, 1914-41

Mary Murphy

Making Space on the Western Frontier

Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes

W. Paul Reeve

The Entangling Net

Alaska's Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives

Leslie Leyland Fields