Women and Community Punishment: The Probation Hostel as a 'Semi-Penal' Institution for Female Offenders

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Semi-penal institutions (for example reformatories, asylums and refuges) were originally developed during the late 18th and early 19th Century, their primary aim being to reform ‘deviant’ women back to acceptable and appropriate standards of femininity. This article will argue that many of the significant features of the early semi-penal institutions can be found in contemporary institutions for women, specifically probation hostels. This article will identify three defining characteristics of the original semi-penal institutions and, by drawing on original empirical research conducted in the early 1990s, apply them to a women's probation hostel. Through this analysis the article will highlight some themes of continuity in the history of ‘community’ punishment for women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-163
JournalThe Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004


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