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Statutory and Non-Statutory service-users experiences of gender-responsive practice in a post-Corston (2007) Women's Centre

Greenwood, K (2019) Statutory and Non-Statutory service-users experiences of gender-responsive practice in a post-Corston (2007) Women's Centre. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This thesis is concerned with the aims, operation and impact of one case study Women’s Centre (WC) in the North of England, functioning as a post-Corston (2007), gender-responsive, non-custodial arena for women serving unpaid work (UW) sentences and women attending voluntarily due to social and structural marginalisation. The former are termed statutory service-users and the latter, non-statutory service-users. Utilising a critical criminological conceptual framework that challenges the socio-economic and political arrangements that give rise to inequalities and disadvantage, this project draws upon a range of key thinkers to make sense of neoliberalism and gendered neoliberal policies. This theoretical position draws upon the work of Stuart Hall, Stanley Cohen, Jamie Peck and Pat Carlen to critically analyse the narratives of 24 non-statutory service-users, 16 statutory service-users and 7 service-providers from the WC. This thesis fills a significant gap in the literature in relation to the experiences of gender-responsive practice in a post-Corston (2007) WC from the perspectives of non-statutory and statutory service-users. Specifically, it addresses this deficit by contributing to this field through focusing on non-statutory service-users experiences of gender-responsive practice for the purposes of social inclusion, highlighting the links between the destructuring of women’s community services under neoliberalism and women’s subsequent dependency and containment within the WC for social and welfare support. Additionally, this thesis outlines statutory service-users experiences of undertaking UW within a gender-responsive WC, highlighting the tensions in merging a traditional method of punishment with a progressive gendered approach. Further adding to previous research (Barton and Cooper, 2013; Carlton and Seagrave, 2013; Elfleet, 2017, 2018; Kendall, 2013; Malloch and McIvor, 2013), this thesis evidences that gender-responsive practice mobilises a rhetoric of empowerment that fails to recognise the heterogeneity of non-statutory service-users, feminises their needs and promotes strategies of resilience that teach them to cope with their disadvantage. Also being the first critical study to explore the function of UW in a WC, this thesis highlights the surveillance, risk management and shameful practices that characterise the operation of UW in the WC. This thesis considers the function of the WC for two service-user groups within the socio-economic and political context of neoliberalism. It outlines how the WC is at once a space of punishment, surveillance, coercion and shame for statutory service-users and a space of social inclusion and coercion for non-statutory service-users. It asserts that neoliberal state reforms and neoliberal policy including Transforming Rehabilitation have placed a responsibility on the criminal justice system to manage populations of women experiencing social and structural marginalisation and have instructed the WC to promote the visible punishment of statutory service-users undertaking UW within the woman-only space of the WC.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: punishment; gender-responsive; alternatives to imprisonment; neoliberalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 11:15
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00012226
Supervisors: Millward, P
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12226
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