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Perceptions of Female Offenders, Vol. 2

How Stereotypes and Social Norms Affect Criminal Justice Responses

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  • © 2023
  • Latest edition


  • Features insights from psychologists, criminologists, sociologists and public policy experts for a holistic view
  • Highlights challenges and systematic biases women face in the criminal justice system
  • Expanded to include women behind bars, victim/offender continuum, and social media research

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Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Introduction and the Role of Social Media in Perceptions of Female Perpetrators

  2. Considerations of Partner Violence Homicide, Trans-women, and Gender Responsive Intervention

  3. Theoretical Explanations for Gender Inclusivity, Disparities in Sentencing, and the Gender Ratio of Crime


About this book

This new edition is a nuanced exploration of female involvement in various crimes—from delinquency, domestic violence, sexual assault and homicide—that resonates with the pulse of contemporary society. In an age where many events are tweeted and debated online, this book delves into the intricate ways social media portrays female offenders and how this can distort public perceptions and effect legal outcomes.

Volume two includes recent research and theory examining how female perpetration is intricately related to gender roles that persist within the criminal justice system and often lead to gender disparities in treatment, criminal justice response, and sentencing and calls into question long-held beliefs and systems that might not be as impartial as they appear. The compelling nature of this volume addresses the complex relationship between trauma and offending and examines crucial subjects like partner violence homicide and the unique challenges faced by trans-women within the criminal justice system, and examines the myths associated with female offending and how that bleeds into criminal justice response. It addresses theories that provide insight into female offending and sentencing and offers ways to generate gender inclusiveness.

This volume invites researchers, practitioners, and advocates for justice to join a vital conversation and develop a more informed and equitable criminal justice response.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Reading, USA

    Brenda Russell

  • George Washington University, Alexandria, USA

    Celia Torres

About the editors

Brenda Russell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, Berks. She is an expert in domestic and sexual violence with a particular interest in legal decision making and how gender and sexual orientation play a role in evaluating defendants and victims in legal cases. She has published dozens of scholarly articles and authored and edited seven books to date. She provides education to law enforcement and practitioners. She serves as an expert in criminal and civil domestic violence cases and works as a consultant and program evaluator for federal and state educational, law enforcement, justice, and treatment programs.

Celia Torres is a graduate from the George Washington University's Master's program in Forensic Psychology in Washington DC. Her scholarly interests include intimate partner violence and the psychology of domestic terrorism. She has interned in therapeutic and punitive settings where she assisted clients and professionals with treatment, monitoring, and the identification of resources. Her previous work can be found in "Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBT+ community" in collaboration with Dr. Brenda Russell.

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