Living in a "Different World": Experiences of Racialized Women in the Criminal Justice System
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The criminalization of women is an area of study that has intrigued many researchers. Using critical race theory, multiracial feminist theory, and radical feminist theory, this research attempts to explain this phenomenon. Through the use of personal interviews with women who are currently reintegrating back into society after being incarcerated, I attempt to uncover the factors which influence female criminality, and analyze the experiences women encounter when confronted by the Canadian criminal justice system. A key hypothesis that fuels this study is that discriminatory practices exist within the Canadian criminal justice system which negatively impact women of colour and Aboriginal women. I argue that the criminalization of women of colour and Aboriginal women occurs as a result of failing to take into consideration the intersectionality of race, class and gender in women who commit criminal acts. This phenomenon occurs due to patriarchal and classist biases that seek to maintain current power structures and relationships by continually oppressing those who do not fit within their group. The findings that emerged from the interviews support my hypothesis and confirm that changes within the criminal justice system are imperative in order to ensure women are treated fairly.