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This study takes a particularly close look at women who have spent time in jail, and analyzes how their incarceration has influenced them.


 One would expect that spending several months in jail would enlighten inmates on how to live a crime-free life.  However, this study found that this was not the case for the inmates that were interviewed.  This research discovered that the experience of incarceration was detrimental to women: they experienced discrimination and endured de-humanization through a process that I call “utter confinement”- a process that involves physical and mental confinement.  This paper also discusses the policy implications of my findings.


This research was designed and conducted from January to March of 2009 by Amanda Wilson, under the supervision and guidance of an Emmanuel College Sociology professor. It is based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with three women and two men who were incarcerated for several months in a county jail in New England.  Interviews lasted for about one hour, were transcribed verbatim and coded for major themes.


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