Uniform TitleWomen's crime and prison reform in early Pennsylvania, 1786-1829
NameManion, Jennifer (author), Hewitt, Nancy (chair), Lewis, Jan (internal member), Fabian, Ann (internal member), Morgan, Jennifer (internal member), Brown, Kathleen (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionMy dissertation examines the role that ideologies of gender, sexuality and race played in the penal reform movement in Pennsylvania. Women's presence in prison throughout this vital era in the development of the penitentiary shaped the system in countless and often unacknowledged ways. Efforts aimed to define appropriate gender roles, restrict sexual practices, and cultivate moral refinement were dynamic but inconsistent. Changes to the penal code did not designate sex-specific punishment, but women were punished differently from men through the enactment of a sexual division of labor. Moreover, reformers sought to instill order by segregating prisoners along lines of sex, crime, race, and age. Official institutional and organizational records regarding race as a category of distinction were relatively silent in the 1780s and 1790s. By the 1820s, however, the consolidation of the language of darkness into "black" also led to the formation of a new category, "white." The implementation of racial classification and segregation reveals the gendered nature of the racial ideology that shaped institutional practice, since segregation was most strictly enforced among male convicts. Sex-segregation was implemented earlier and more fully. Aimed at thwarting heterosexual liaisons among prisoners, such excessive regulation along with the absence of concern about alternative sexualities enabled reformers to reproduce the social structure of compulsory heterosexuality, rooted in a heterosexual political economy, while simultaneously nurturing same-sex desire.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 219-231).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.