Women and community sentences



Malloch M & McIvor G (2011) Women and community sentences. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 11 (4), pp. 325-344.

Despite the increasing numbers of women given community sentences in the UK and in other jurisdictions in recent years, there has been relatively little research into women’s experiences of these disposals. This is particularly surprising given what is known about the distinctive characteristics of women in conflict with the law and the gendered nature of pathways to crime. This article draws upon the experiences of women made subject to a range of community sentences to identify recurring themes including the complexity of women’s problems, the significance of stigma, trauma and abuse, the importance to women of their supervisory relationships, the relevance of self-efficacy and the nature of barriers to compliance. The article considers the consequences of the discourses of ‘penality’ when underpinned by ideological assumptions and expectations based on gender relations. The implications for the supervision of women in the community are considered, while acknowledging that community sanctions are unlikely in themselves to be capable of addressing broader issues that bring women into and retain them in the criminal justice system.

women; community sanctions; punishment; probation ; Female offenders

Criminology and Criminal Justice: Volume 11, Issue 4

Publication date30/09/2011

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