Gender, Geography, and Punishment: The Experience of Women in Carceral Russia

TitleGender, Geography, and Punishment: The Experience of Women in Carceral Russia
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPallot, Judith, and Laura Piacentini
Number of Pages290
PublisherOxford University Press

This book brings together human geography and the sociology of punishment to explore the relationship between distance and punishment in contemporary Russia. Using established penological and geographical theories, the book presents in-depth empirical research to show how the experiences of women prisoners are shaped by the distances that the Russian penal service sends prisoners to serve their sentences. The book uses interviews conducted by the authors and their research team with adult and juvenile women prisoners, ex-prisoners and prison officers in penal facilities in different regions of the Russian Federation between 2006 and 2010. The book argues that Russia's inherited geography of penality, combined with traditional ideas about women's role that shape the penal service's management of women prisoners, add to their 'pains of imprisonment'. Crucially, the authors argue that these factors are constraining the Russian penal service's ability to implement successive reforms aimed at humanizing Russia's notoriously tough prisons. Russian imprisonment as it relates to women is, they believe, an area of significant concern for lawmakers in that country as well as to human rights campaigners, geographers interested in space and power, and scholars studying the post-Soviet system.

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