Desisting Sisters

Gender, Power and Desistance in the Criminal (In)Justice System

  • Úna Barr

Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Úna Barr
    Pages 1-24
  3. Úna Barr
    Pages 157-188
  4. Úna Barr
    Pages 189-211
  5. Úna Barr
    Pages 213-230
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 231-270

About this book


This book provides an important, critical, feminist perspective on desistance theory and practice. It is built around 23 original, narrative interviews with women and the staff of the community projects they attended, as well as a year of observations at Northshire Women’s Centres. The book is concerned with outlining a feminist approach to desistance which recognises that the majority of women in the criminal justice system come from backgrounds of abuse, economic disadvantage and have alcohol, drug and mental health issues. The book is also be concerned with challenging the dichotomy of narratives of victimisation and survival while recognising that women have agency. In doing so, Desisting Sisters contests the neoliberal and patriarchal approach to desistance which promotes women's role as care givers and unpaid volunteer workers. Ultimately, Barr contends that women's desistance can resist neo-liberal, patriarchal constructs, much in the same way that feminist criminology has contended that women's offending more generally, often does. This book will be of particular use and interest to those studying modules on both traditional and critical criminology, criminal justice, psychology, sociology and social work courses.


desistance social bonds family and prison disadvantaged female offenders women offenders criminology gender female desistance maturational ex-convict rebuild lives

Authors and affiliations

  • Úna Barr
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Humanities and Social ScienceLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

Bibliographic information