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Research Report

Understanding the Drivers of Female Imprisonment in Scotland

McIvor G & Burman M (2011) Understanding the Drivers of Female Imprisonment in Scotland. The Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research. SCCJR Briefings, 01/2011. SCCJR.

First paragraph: Across jurisdictions, offending by women differs in a number of important ways from offending by men: it is less common, less frequent and less serious (McIvor, 2007; Gelb, 2010; Burman, 2004). Women are typically convicted of relatively minor crimes that pose little public risk and, because they are usually convicted of offences that are less serious than those committed by men, the sentences they receive are also different: for example, women are less likely than men to receive sentences of imprisonment. However, female imprisonment has increased dramatically in most western jurisdictions, including Scotland, over the last 15-20 years as evidenced by increases in the numbers of women given sentences of imprisonment1, in daily female prison populations2 and in the rate of imprisonment of women3. Moreover, because the rise in women's imprisonment has outstripped parallel increases in the imprisonment of men, women now make up a greater proportion of prisoners. While the growth in female imprisonment is undisputed, what is less clear is what has fuelled it, particularly since it does not appear to have been solely - if at all - a reaction to increases in female crime.

Author(s)McIvor, Gill; Burman, Michele
Title of seriesSCCJR Briefings
Number in series01/2011
Publication date31/03/2011
Publisher URL…imprisonment.pdf
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