Research for women in prison is a resource that is designed to support researchers and practitioners. It is the first time there has been a place that practitioners, researchers and other interested people can easily access information relating to women in prison. The aim of the blog is simple: it is to educate people about international and local issues which affect women in prison.
The website: wwwr4womeninprison.com, promotes the work of organisations involved with women in the criminal justice system, the views of prisoners, practitioners and researchers as well as research findings. Criminal justice systems around the world are different however there is a consensus that knowledge about women in prison is fragmented. While the issue of women in prison is recognized by a few campaigners, researchers or specialists, there are many others which criticize such a narrow focus. Helen Crewe who is a criminologist and founder of an international network of researchers is the writer and owner of the blog. Helen gives a response to two main criticisms of the blog:
There are many problems in the world, societies and local communities which are more important than women in prison. Who cares about this issue?
“I am writing this blog from the perspective of having taught women in prison. Research for women in prison uses international legislation, provides knowledge about broader issues such as the provision of housing or healthcare. The blog promotes organisations, campaigns and studies which are relevant for the majority of people and highlights that problems for women in prison are a reflection of society”.
Women in prison are a minority, so why not focus on problems that exist for all people in the criminal justice system?
“It is surprising how much research and knowledge there is about women in prison. Despite this, the minority status of women in prison has led to a small chapter or paragraph in a policy manual. Research for women in prison hopes to highlight the need for a central place that is accessible and helpful for improving knowledge”.
Research for women in prison is a resource that is useful about many issues. There is a monthly newsletter which will give up to date information about current studies, conferences and campaigns.
Helen Crewe is the founder of a social media network for researchers and practitioners who are involved with projects relating to women in prison. http://www.r4womeninprison.com. She is a criminologist,consultant, researcher, writer and trainer specializing in issues which relate to women in the criminal justice system.