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This is an article written by Jo G. Holland. The article talks about challenges that are faced, and those are to be expected based on courts resorting to community service orders. This is because the number of inmates in this program is continuously increasing. In his analysis, Holland looks at the various perspectives, including the men’s domain, women barriers, and community corrections along with the challenges that lie ahead.
The paper analyses the historical chronology of trends towards the increase the number of women workers in the correctional institutions This is in addition to the Virginia experience along with the challenges to be expected in the 21st Century.
In analyzing the dominance by men, Holland says that the entire criminal justice system has been for a long time and still is dominated by men. He avers that everything is guided by men from the legislation of the criminal law, enforcement officers, and judicial interpretation. It is stereotyped that women are not expected to participate in crimes because they are women.
The stereotype explains why most offenders are men as the workforce in the criminal justice system is full of men (Merlo, 1995). The idea to allow women to work in the men dominated correctional facilities opened up employment opportunities for women. Since the 1970s the number of women working in this department has been on the increase.
A report by the Joint Commission of Correctional Manpower and Training released in 1969 reported that by the same year women made up 12 percent of the total workforce in the correctional institution. This changed tremendously as by 1990. The number had increased to 43 percent. Of these, 50 percent were in the Parole agencies as 52 percent were in the probation division.
The institution handling adults had the least women officers at 28 percent, whereas Juvenile agencies had 42 percent. Research by the National Institution of Corrections revealed great disparities among men and women employed in these institutions (Naffine, 1996). The departments also have low levels of power along with very low pay. This, therefore, means that very little has been achieved following the increased participation of women in the workforce.
Other women workers barriers have been caused by policies which favor men in promotions, hostile expression from their male counter parts during the interaction, sexual harassment, and division of labor based on gender. Data that was analyzed during the Virginia experience gave a chronology of trends regarding women employees in the correctional facilities (Chapman, 1983).
The 1942 legislation led to a paltry two women getting employed in the entire workforce. The Parole board first got members in 1973. Out of the five members, only one was a woman. In the 1970s one more was added, but it was not until 1993 and 1994 that the first and second black women officers were included in the board.
Analysis of the data shows that significant changes occur every ten years. In the whole of Virginia 12 out of the 43 female probation chiefs were women in 2005. Minority black women accounted for two percent of the 28 percent of women officers. White males are also dominant in the men population. In 2005, nine percent of the men officers were black out of the total 63 percent.
Reading carefully the Holland’s conclusion, I agree with him on various proposals. The suggestion that the institution needs to change to rhyme with the milestones that have been achieved in employment is true. The role of women in the service should be expanded to cover administrative duties with authority and power. Their role should be effectively integrated into the entire work.
Chapman, J. (1983). Women employed in corrections. Washington: National Institute of Justice.
Merlo, A. (1995). Women, law and social control. Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.
Naffine, N. (1996). Feminism and criminology. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.