The context: women as law-breakers

Loraine Gelsthorpe, Serena Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews the profile of female law-breakers, what is known about these women, and what is known about their offending, and their pathways of persistence and desistance. This chapter points to some policy and practice developments since the Corston Report of 2007, considering these within the context of women’s compliance. However, questions are raised about the legitimacy of these developments, as well as their sustainability in a market economy of justice. This chapter also identifies some ironies insofar as the post-Corston world seems to recriminalise some women; indeed, the focus on women’s ‘persistence’ may diminish opportunities for ‘desistance’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen and Criminal Justice
Subtitle of host publicationFrom the Corston Report to Transforming Rehabilitation
EditorsJill Annison, Jo Brayford, John Deering
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)447319306
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Women law breakers
  • Criminalisation
  • Offending profile
  • Persistence
  • Desistance
  • Policy developments

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