Motherhood on the inside: exploring the challenges facing incarcerated women at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women

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dc.contributor Spears, Ellen Griffith
dc.contributor.advisor Cooper, Brittney
dc.contributor.advisor Johnson, Ida M. Unnasch, Emily Ann
dc.contributor.other University of Alabama Tuscaloosa 2017-03-01T14:40:46Z 2017-03-01T14:40:46Z 2011
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000592
dc.identifier.other Unnasch_alatus_0004M_10694
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I argue that the criminal justice system is deeply entrenched in racist and classist perceptions that make incarcerated women especially vulnerable to policies and ideologies that regularly involve the denial of their reproductive and parental rights. With shifting public policies and sentencing reform in reaction to the "war on drugs," women, the poor, and people of color have disproportionately become caught in the net of the criminal justice system. The subtle fusion of the war on drugs with the fetal protection movement has furthermore positioned pregnant women and mothers quite precariously within the criminal justice system, and Alabama's own chemical endangerment law provides a useful case study for exploring this topic. This thesis highlights the unique challenges facing women in correctional institutions, focusing on women's reproductive rights and claims to motherhood in particular. An elaboration of the history of Alabama's Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women helps to reveal these broader issues. In this thesis, I argue that motherhood can provide a means for incarcerated women to strategize resistance and claim agency from the space of the prison, suggesting that programs such as the Montgomery-based organization Aid to Inmate Mothers help meet the specific needs of incarcerated women that are otherwise neglected by the prison system. I use data that I collected from fifteen interviews conducted with inmate mothers at Tutwiler Prison, drawing on the experiences of these women to make an argument about the nature of incarceration for women and the potential for motherhood to be an empowering identity. en_US
dc.format.extent 118 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated. en_US
dc.subject Women's studies
dc.subject Criminology
dc.subject African American studies
dc.title Motherhood on the inside: exploring the challenges facing incarcerated women at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women en_US
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Department of Gender and Race Studies Women's Studies The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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