This chapter firstly provides a critical analysis of current (neo)liberal reform of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), in particular that which relates to women. In June 2018, the Home Office published their Female Offenders Strategy, which argued for ‘earlier intervention, an emphasis on community-based solutions, and an aim to make custody effective and decent as possible for those who have to be there’ (Ministry of Justice, Female Offender Strategy. London: Ministry of Justice, 2018a: 3). This chapter examines this document through a critical, abolitionist lens. Influenced by the work of Pat Carlen, almost 30 years ago (Alternatives to Women’s Imprisonment. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1990), this chapter argues for a woman-wise community-based penology which is both utopian and pragmatic, and examines what this might entail. Finally, some methodological implications and conclusions are posed.
KeywordsFemale offenders strategy Community-based Woman-wise penology Abolitionism
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