by Gwenola Ricordeau
An indispensable guide to the feminist case for prison abolition
How does the criminal justice system affect women's lives? Do prisons keep women safe? Should feminists rely on policing and the law to achieve women's liberation?
The mainstream feminist movement has proposed "locking up the bad men," and called on prisons, the legal system, and the state to protect women from misogynist violence. This carceral approach to feminism, activist and scholar Gwenola Ricordeau argues, does not make women safer: it harms women, including victims of violence, and in particular people of color, poor people, and LGBTQ people.
In this scintillating, comprehensive study, Ricordeau draws from two decades as an abolitionist activist and scholar of the penal justice system to describe how the criminal justice system hurts women. Considering the position of survivors of violence, criminalized women, and women with criminalized relatives, Ricordeau charts a new path to emancipation without incarceration.
With a new foreword by Silvia Federici.
Translated from the French by Tom Roberge and Emma Ramadan.
"With a new foreword by Silvia Federici, this volume makes a feminist case for the abolition of the prison system as we have known it. Ricordeau deftly explores the harms of incarceration and the path to a more just system for all." -- Karla Strand, Best Books of August 2023, Ms. Magazine
"Professor Ricordeau's analysis of the absurdities of the system and the sizable obstacles facing those determined to find meaningful solutions combines scholarly discipline with a powerful, emotional appeal for justice." -- Bill Littlefield, The Arts Fuse
"Do prisons ever really keep women safe? For a long time, mainstream feminism has been dominated by the view that bad men should simply be locked away. But, as activist and scholar Gwendola Ricordeau argues, this carceral approach has never made women safer: instead, it only makes society's most marginalized suffer. Here, she proposes a bolder, more radical vision." -- Dazed
About the Author:
Gwenola Ricordeau is an associate professor of Criminal Justice at California State University, Chico. She previously taught in higher education for more than a decade in her native France. As a feminist and a penal abolitionist for more than two decades, Gwenola tries to make her scholarship resonates with her activism and personal experience as a relative of prisoners.