Cover image for No safe haven : stories of women in prison
No safe haven : stories of women in prison
Girshick, Lori B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Northeastern University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 201 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9475.N82 B534 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"This work draws on the life stories of forty women inmates at a minimum security prison in North Carolina. It explores their lives before imprisonment, enabling the reader to understand their incarceration within the context of childhood and adolescent experiences, domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, low education levels, and poor work histories. Lori B. Girshick relates the prisoners' views of doing time, the criminal justice system, and their own rehabilitation. She also interviews family members, friends, and social service providers to show how support networks function or fail." "Girshick argues convincingly that the treatment of women in society creates circumstances that lead some of them to break the law, and she makes specific recommendations for policies that address the need for social change and for community programs designed to deter crime."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Lori B. Girshick is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Warren Wilson College

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Though the women's prison population is small, it is growing, and the needs of incarcerated women can be quite different from men. Girshick (sociology, Warren Wilson Coll.) interviewed 40 prisoners at the Black Mountain minimum security prison in North Carolina, as well as members of their families and prison staff and volunteers, to learn more about the women's prison experience. She discusses the women's backgrounds, their concerns about their families, the support services they need in order to make their lives better, and their hopes for the future. It is especially interesting to learn why the volunteers decided to become involved with the prisoners and what feelings they have toward the inmates. Though Girshick could have expanded her suggestions on how to improve the prison experience and on ways communities are succeeding in keeping women out of the prison system, her book makes an interesting addition to criminology, women's studies, and sociology collections.√ĄDanna C. Bell-Russel, Library of Congress, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Prison walls keep inmates within the facility and prevent outsiders from viewing their daily experiences. The stereotypical perception of inmates in American society is that most are males. In reality, the rapidly increasing population under correctional supervision is diverse in gender and race. Beginning with women's roles and their experiences in preprison life and continuing with their roles as inmate, Girshick introduces readers to women's prison life. She opens with a review of the limited existing research and then describes the interview techniques she used with 40 women in a southern prison. Their stories provide rich insights that enable readers to develop a grounded understanding of the dynamics leading to incarceration and adaptation to prison life. The beginning chapters introduce methodology, adolescent-early adult existence, and linkages to later criminal acts. Responses to prison life and changing attachments to outside significant others are explored in chapters 5 and 6. The last three chapters address institutional and community attempts to meet personal and rehabilitative needs. A concluding chapter provides policy recommendations. Excellent bibliography. All levels. J. H. Larson; University of North Dakota

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Introductionp. 3
2 Women in Prisonp. 17
3 Growing Upp. 29
4 Adult Lives and the Crimesp. 51
5 Doing Timep. 75
6 Family and Friendsp. 105
7 Addressing Chronic Needs through Programmingp. 135
8 Community Involvement and Societal Changep. 162
9 No Safe Haven: Policy Recommendations and Concluding Remarksp. 182
Indexp. 197