Book Chapter

A comparison: criminalised women in Scotland



Burman M, Malloch M & McIvor G (2015) A comparison: criminalised women in Scotland. In: Annison J, Brayford J & Deering J J (eds.) Women and the Criminal Justice System: From the Corston Report to Transforming Rehabilitation. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 59-80.

First paragraph: Between 1995 and 2002, a total of 11 women killed themselves in what was then Scotland's only prison for women, HMP and YOI Cornton Vale. The deaths, and the seeming frequency with which one followed another (seven women died within a 30-month period between 1995 and 1997; and two women died in one week in 2001), sent shock waves through the Scottish criminal justice system and wider Scottish society. Although the subsequent fatal accident inquiries failed to identify any single reason for the suicides, it was acknowledged that a history of drug use and withdrawal problems following imprisonment were common experiences among the women who died. As Scotland is traditionally distinct from England and Wales, with its emphasis on a more welfarist approach to criminal justice (via criminal justice social work rather than probation), the deaths of these women called for drastic action and led academics, practitioners and policy makers to question the appropriateness of existing sentences and associated interventions for women.

Publication date31/10/2015
PublisherPolicy Press
Publisher URL
Place of publicationBristol

People (2)


Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Professor Gillian McIvor

Professor Gillian McIvor

Emeritus Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology