Made by men for men? In search of a gender responsive approach to men in prison

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Abstract

In this paper, I examine the current situation of a gender responsive approach to the male prison estate. In no way do I intend to draw attention away from the vital work of a gender responsive approach to working with women and girls in places of detention. What I advocate for here is for those in policy positions to consider how the male prison estate (and the justice system more broadly) could benefit from applying similar progressive thinking to that which has developed gender-informed processes with women in prison. Prison systems almost exclusively operationalise a binary approach to gender; however, a complete gender responsive approach would also account for a greater understanding of those who identify as transgender, gender fluid and gender nonbinary. In 2016 the UK government introduced a new policy stating that prisons must also recognise those with fluid and non-binary genders and other governments have officially acknowledged three genders. While this article focuses on people who were born male and identify as men, I believe that a greater understanding of gendered expectations, pressures and realities can contribute towards facilitating a less binary approach to gender.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
JournalPrison Service Journal
Issue number257
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • gender
  • gender responsive
  • gender sensitive
  • men's prisons
  • masculinities
  • prison masculinities
  • feminist critical thinking

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