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The Feminist Prison – Dr. Kristi Holsinger, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology

It was a surprising email.  A prestigious professor from graduate school wrote out of the blue asking me to write a book chapter for a new book he had envisioned and recently received a contract for.  The book title was The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future.  Great idea!  I am not a big fan of many aspects of our current correctional system, not to mention the fact that we are #1 in the world in terms of incarceration rates.  The chapter topics in the book proposal were interesting; for example, “The Faith-Based Prison,” “The Racially Just Prison,” “The Healthy Prison,” and “The Green Prison.”

The book chapter the professor had in mind for me was “The Feminist Prison.”  Honestly, I could hardly get my head around it — isn’t this term an oxymoron?  Nothing about the word “prison” connects in any meaningful way to the word “feminism” for me.  Yet I was intrigued at the possibility of thinking more creatively about what a “feminist prison” might look like.

The book comes out this month.  I hope you will request the book or the book chapter through our inter-library loan system.  I welcome dialogue (or even an email) about my attempts to connect these two seemingly contradictory words and envision a vastly different prison system for women.

Holsinger, K. (2013). The Feminist Prison. In F. Cullen, C.L. Johnson, and M.K. Stohr (eds.), The American Prison: Imagining a Different Future (pp. 87-110). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dr. Holsinger received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati.  Her areas of research and interest are Juvenile Justice; Women, Crime and Criminal Justice; Corrections; Gender-Responsive Policies and Programs; Mentoring; and Restorative Justice.