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Palgrave Macmillan

Female Crime and Delinquency in Portugal

In and Out of the Criminal Justice System

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Presents a comprehensive and interdisciplinary exploration of common trends in Portuguese female crime and delinquency
  • Places this research within a comparative, international context in light of worldwide trends
  • Touches on themes including: domestic violence, stalking, human rights, drugs, and family

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About this book

This book compiles research on female crime and delinquency in Portugal in order to critically and reflectively explore interdisciplinary views on the link between gender, crime and delinquency. Contributions are organized into two main parts, with Part I dedicated to the relationship between women and crime, and Part II focused on female juvenile delinquency. Through the exploration of girls’ and women’s relationships with delinquency and crime, as well as with the justice system, this original and compelling collection highlights the heterogeneity of girls’ and women's experiences, whilst also underlining the convergences and divergences between them.

Ultimately, Gomes and Duarte argue that understanding how women and girls explain their offending behaviours and how they relate to the criminal justice system is of the utmost importance for reforming social and legal policies. As such, this book will be of value not only for students, researchers andprofessionals of the social, behavioural and criminal sciences, but also for policy-makers seeking to provide greater efficiency in preventing crime and delinquency.

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Female Juvenile Delinquency: Victimizations, Delinquencies and the Juvenile Justice System


“This multidisciplinary collection of original articles on women in crime and the criminal justice and penal systems in Portugal adds a rare, but much-needed and invaluable, comparative perspective to the existing body of work on women and crime already available in English. In a series of theoretically sophisticated and well-researched articles, the book provokes new questions about the variable relationships between culture, economy, politics and gender in the production of women criminals.”  (Pat Carlen, University of Leicester, UK) 

“This book enhances our theoretical and empirical understanding of gender and crime and significantly increases our understanding of the importance of context in explaining that relationship. ... The book stimulates and enlightens and is a must read for all professional and criminal justice practitioners who often focus on victims rather than agency. It demonstrates how gender notions are changing, how context matters, and how narratives expand our understanding of crime, gender and context. It is a book well worth reading.” (Margaret Zahn, North Carolina State University, USA) 

“This volume compiles recent research on female crime and delinquency in Portugal. Holding contributions from researchers from different disciplines, it provides an excellent and up-to-date overview of the Portuguese body of knowledge. The carefully selected chapters cover both juvenile and adult female offending, and are inspiring for criminologists and other social scientists in Europe and beyond. The volume puts some understudied sides of female offending in the spotlight, and substantially adds to the up till now mainly US and UK dominated empirical knowledge on female offending.” (An Nuytiens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) 

“This comprehensive and accessible book will be of great interest to students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners interested in offending by women and girls and criminal justice responses.  The book showcases contains a very broad range of contributions covering theoretical and conceptual debates and empirical research findings. Whilst the focus is on work within the Portuguese context it resonates clearly with international interests and challenges in this area.  A must read for all those interested in offending by women and girls.(Michelle Burman, University of Glasgow UK)

“It is a welcome addition to criminology—both in general but in particular because of renewed interests in recent years in comparative and international research in criminology and in the study of female criminality and the gender/crime relationship… Researchers and practitioners with interests in female criminality—especially as it is manifest in comparative context—will applaud the publication and see it as a must-have volume.” (Darrell Steffensmeier, The Pennsylvania State University, US)

Editors and Affiliations

  • CICS.NOVA Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal

    Sílvia Gomes, Vera Duarte

About the editors

Sílvia Gomes is a postdoctoral grantee in Sociology and Criminology at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA), University of Minho, Portugal (in cooperation with Florida State University, USA, and University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), and a guest assistant professor at the University Institute of Maia, Portugal.

Vera Duarte is an assistant professor at University Institute of Maia (ISMAI, Portugal); Executive Director of the Research Unit in Criminology and Behavioral Sciences (UICCC/ ISMAI), Portugal; and a researcher at Interdisciplinary Center of Social Sciences (CICS.NOVA), University of Minho, Portugal.

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