Summary: ''Women in conflict with the law have their own ideas about why and how they became lawbreakers. But the experts who tell us who these women are and why they break the law usually ignore or discredit outright the opinions of the women themselves.'' ''As a counselling and research intern in a women's medium-security prison, Evelyn Sommers heard the stories of dozens of women inmates who came for counselling. Their crimes involved prostitution, drug abuse, theft, physical abuse, assaul ...show moret, and arson. Their stories called into question existing theoretical explanations for criminal behaviour as well as the explanations commonly heard in the day-to-day discourse of the prison. Sommers concluded that attempts to help women lawbreakers could be effective only if they took into account the women's understanding of what led to their lawbreaking. She resolved to conduct intensive interviews with fourteen women and to look for the common threads in their stories - threads that might further our understanding of women's conflicts with the law.'' ''Sommers presents the women's accounts without excusing or condemning them, and without moulding their explanations to some ideological model. The four common threads that emerged from the women's accounts were need, disconnection and the influence of others, visible anger, and fear. Further analysis revealed two implicit, underlying themes: the centrality of relationships in the women's lives and their personal quest for empowerment. Voices from Within demonstrates the importance of conducting separate studies of male and female lawbreakers; of relying on subjective perspective to distinguish and appropriately address differences inherent in the criminal population; and of reconceptualizing the notion of criminal motivation. Sommers concludes with suggestions for further research and for practical approaches to working with lawbreakers.''--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved ...show lessEdition/Copyright: 95
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