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The health and medical needs of Victoria's older female prisoners, 1860–1920


Nagy, VM and Piper, AJ, The health and medical needs of Victoria's older female prisoners, 1860-1920, Health and History, 22, (1) pp. 67-85. ISSN 1442-1771 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 ANZSHM

DOI: doi:10.5401/healthhist.22.1.0067


Investigations of women's offending have, in historical as well as criminological literature, bypassed women who are labelled as ‘old’. While female offenders have traditionally been a blind spot of the criminal justice system, especially prisons, older women are victims of ‘double invisibility‘—not only their sex but their age has rendered them invisible to authorities and the public as offenders. Using the Central Register of Female Prisoners from Victoria from 1860 to 1920, this paper presents an analysis of the 684 prison records of women who first entered the prison system after fifty years of age. It considers the physical and mental health issues faced by this prisoner cohort and responses from state and criminal justice authorities. We use feminist historical criminology to shine light on those women who have often been invisible in historical and contemporary prison policies and concerns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:female offending, prison, older prisoners, Victoria, crime
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Criminal justice
UTAS Author:Nagy, VM (Dr Vicky Nagy)
ID Code:140067
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2020-07-23
Last Modified:2021-05-24

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