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Title: The space in-between : an examination of the marginalisation experienced by women remand prisoners in Northern Ireland
Author: McNaull, Gillian
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2019
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The Space In-between is an examination of the experiential nature of custodial remand for women in Northern Ireland. Using a critical feminist methodology, it provides insight into women's personal and political experience of crime and punishment within the dynamics of the political economy and a 'post-Conflict' society. Women involved with criminal justice are conceived as having distinctly gendered pathways into prison, where they experience gender specific pains of imprisonment. This thesis dismantles women's 'offending pathways' using a lens of intersectionality, which allows the interrelationship of structural oppressions and state policies, conflating 'need' with 'risk', to be located in the criminalisation and punishment of women. In recent years, prison reform has seen the production of 'gender responsive' policies and environments for the containment of vulnerable women in prisons. This thesis challenges official discourses and disentangles the discursive and ideological transformations which reframe prison as a rehabilitative environment for women, from the material punitivity experienced in prisons. This highlights the deflective nature of criminal justice and prison reform, which masks the reality of imprisonment to create an 'imaginary penality' (Carlen 2008) and disguises the continuum of trauma and violence which vulnerable women experience, one which is extended and exacerbated by prison (Moore and Scraton 2008; Carlton and Seagrave 2014). A tension exists between the factors that produce remanded women's imprisonability, and the proportionality of prison as a response to the 'risk' they pose, a fact that raises questions regarding court remand decision-making, and their debilitating outcomes for women. This thesis suggests that remanded women exist within a continuum of liminal marginality, one that feeds into their criminalisation prior to prison, characterises their experience of prison as an institution focused towards the needs of a) men and b) sentenced prisoners, and embeds their marginal status post-release. The liminal temporality of both the remand period, and remanded women's rotation between multiple sites of punitive governance, serves to locate them in 'a space in-between', one with uncertain and unmapped delineations.
Supervisor: Scraton, Phil ; Requa, Mary ; McAlinden, Anne-Marie Sponsor: Northern Ireland Department for the Economy
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available