Mothering, crime, and incarceration

Kathleen Ferraro, Angela M. Moe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the relationships between mothering, crime, and incarceration through the narratives of thirty women incarcerated in a southwestern county jail. The responsibilities of child care, combined with the burdens of economic marginality and domestic violence, led some women to choose economic crimes or drug dealing as an alternative to hunger and homelessness. Other women, arrested for drug- or alcohol-related crimes, related their offenses to the psychological pain and despair resulting from loss of custody of their children. Many women were incarcerated for minor probation violations that often related to the conflict between work, child care, and probation requirements. For all women with children, mothering represented both the burdens of an unequal sexual division of labor and opportunities for resistance to marginalization and hopelessness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-40
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

crime
offense
child care
probation
drug
homelessness
marginalization
hunger
marginality
labor division
child custody
division of labor
domestic violence
economics
pain
alcohol
woman
Crime
Incarceration
narrative

Keywords

  • Crime
  • Incarceration
  • Mothering
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

Mothering, crime, and incarceration. / Ferraro, Kathleen; Moe, Angela M.

In: Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 32, No. 1, 02.2003, p. 9-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ferraro, Kathleen ; Moe, Angela M. / Mothering, crime, and incarceration. In: Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 2003 ; Vol. 32, No. 1. pp. 9-40.
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