Incarcerated Mothers: Oppression and Resistance


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 230

Publication Date: March 2013

ISBN: 978-1-927335-03-1

A large proportion—and in many jurisdictions the majority—of incarcerated women are mothers. Popular attention is often paid to challenges faced by children of incarcerated mothers while incarcerated women themselves often do not “count” as mothers in mainstream discourse. This is the first anthology on incarcerated mothers’ experiences that is primarily based on and reflects the Canadian context. It is also trans- national in scope as it covers related issues from other countries around the world. These essays examine connections between mothering and incarceration, from analysis of the justice system and policies, criminalization of motherhood, to understanding experiences of mothers in prisons as presented in their own voices. They highlight structures and processes which shape and ascribe incarcerated woman’s identity as a mother, juxtaposing it with scripted and imposed mainstream norms of a “good” or “real” mother. Moreover, these essays identify and track emergence of mothers’ resistance and agency within and in spite of the confines of their circumstances.

“This text delves into themes woefully underrepresented in the field. The broad range of articles covered within these pages extends the conversation, probing the very meaning of punishment. The handling of motherhood and mothering behind bars in an international context makes for a vitally necessary text.”
—Jennifer Ann Colanese, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Indiana University South Bend

“Incarcerated Mothers offers an all too rare look behind the walls of penal institutions in different countries. While raising a child in India may on the surface be quite different to raising a child in France, the experiences of mothers who are incarcerated are hauntingly similar. This book admirably balances the voices of academia with those of lived experiences. It may indeed be one of the first to demonstrate the intergenerational challenges that so often characterize the families and, above all, children touched by crime. From the perspective of prevention, examining the mother-child relationship is not new. Doing so with women convicted of a crime who are mothers first and foremost demands that we examine the shadow side of justice in an altogether novel way.”
—Christiane Sadeler, Executive Director, Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council

Click here to read a review from Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology

Book Review: Incarcerated Mothers: Oppression and Resistance
edited by Gordana Eljdupovic and Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich - Gender and Society

Gordana Eljdupovic and Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich

Part I:
Incarcerated Mothers In Context: Social Systems and Inequality

The Canadian Landscape for Incarcerated Mothers:
Lessons, Changes and Innovations
Dena Derkzen and Kelly Taylor (Canada)

"Incarcerating Aboriginal Mothers: A Cost Too Great."
Gordana Eljdupovic, Terry Mitchell, Lori Curtis,
Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich, Alison Granger-Brown,
Courtney Arseneau and Brooke Fry (Canada)

When Motherhood Is the Crime:
Incarcerating Adolescent Mothers in Canada
Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich (Canada)

Mothers and Babies in French Prisons:
Cultural and Legal Variables
Martine Herzog-Evans (France)

Love Behind Bars:
The Darker Side of Incarcerating Mothers
Desiriee Kennedy (USA)

Mitigating the Plight of Incarcerated Mothers in India:
Issues and Policy Interventions
Upneet Lalli (India)

Care and Respect:
Mothering and Relatedness in Multigenerational Prison Settings
Manuela Da Cunha and Rafaela de la Granja (Portugal)

Incarcerated Indigenous Australian Mothers:
Maintaining Patriarchal Colonization
Ruth MacCausland and Eileen Baldry (Australia)

Part II: Lived Experiences of Incarcerated Mothers

Voice of the Mothers
Alison, Brenda, Sarah, Martina, Tanya, Devon, Jennifer, Betty,
Renee, Patricia, Mo, Kelly and Linnea (Canada)

"It Was Easier To Say I Didn't Have Kids":
Mothering, Incarceration, and Relationships with Social
and Criminal Justice Policies
Olivia Scobie and Amber Gazso (Canada)

Mothering Through Adversity: Voices of Incarcerated Mothers
Christine Walsh and Meredith Crough (Canada)

"I Wanted to Be, I Tried to Be, I Will Be a Good Mother":
Incarcerated Mothers' Construal of the Mother Role
Gordana Ejdupovic (Canada)

Incarcerated Mothers Speak:
Like Getting Hit in the Heart With A Dagger
Karen Shain, Lauren Liu and Sarah DeWath (USA)

Incarcerating Mothers: The Effect on the Health and
Social Well-Being of Infants and Their Mothers
Ruth Elwood Martin, Joshua Lau and Amy Salmon (Canada)

Mothering Against the Norms:
Diane Wilson and Environmental Activism
Danielle Poe (USA)

Sorry I left you
Julie Herrnkind

Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich is a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and Ph.D. Candidate at Carleton University. A lawyer in private practice for seven years before returning to the academic world, she has been a member of the Bar of Ontario since 2003 and has an Ll.M. and Ll.B. from from Queen’s University. Rebecca also has a graduate certificate from the University of Cincinnati, where she taught as an adjunct professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has also been an adjunct at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law. Rebecca balances her professional work and scholarship with her role as mother to four amazing children.

Gordana Eljdupovic, Ph.D., C. Psych., is a clinical and forensic psychologist whose doctoral research focussed on incarcerated women’s experiences of mothering. Upon completion of her doctoral degree, she worked with incarcerated women in a Canadian prison for a number of years. She feels immensely privileged, honoured and humbled by their trust. Dr. Eljdupovic has presented her work at a number of different local, regional, and international settings. She is currently an Associate Researcher with the Center for Community Research, Learning and Action (ccrla) at Wilfrid Laurier University, and she continues to work in areas where gender, policy, the justice system, and mental health concerns intersect. She is mother to two wonderful children: a daughter and a son.

Courtney Arseneau, MA student, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Eileen Baldry, Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Meredith Crough, BA program, Development Studies,University of Calgary, Canada.

Manuela P. da Cunha is an anthropologist teaching at the University of Minho, Portugal and a researcher at the Centre for Research in Anthropology and at the Institut d'Ethnologie Méditerranéenne et Comparative, France.

Lori Curtis, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Waterloo, Canada.

Dena Derkzen, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Psychology, Carleton University and acting Director, Women Offender Research Division, Research Branch, Correctional Service of Canada.

Brooke Fry, MA student, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Amber Gazso, Associate Professor of Sociology, York University, Canada

Alison Granger-Brown, Ph.D. candidate, Human and Organizational Systems, Fielding Graduate University; works with federally and provincially sentenced women in therapeutic capacity, Canada.
Rafaela Granja Rafaela Granja is a sociologist at Centro de Investigação em Ciências sociais at the University of Minho (CICS-UM), Portugal.

Martine Herzog-Evans, Professor in Law and Criminology, Reims University, France.

Deseriee Kennedy, Professor of Law, Touro Law Center, United States of America.

Upneet Lalli, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, India.

Joshua Lau, MPH student, Public Health, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Lauren Liu, BA Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies, University of California, USA.

Ruth Elwood Martin, Clinical Professor and Lead Faculty for research in the family medicine residency program, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Ruth McCausland, Ph.D. candidate, School of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Terry Mitchell, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Danielle Poe, Associate Professor of philosophy, University of Dayton, USA.

Amy Salmon, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Olivia Scobie is a freelance journalist and a policy analyst at Centennial College, Canada.

Karen Shain is policy director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children in San Francisco, United States of America.

Kelly Taylor, Ph.D., Senior Director of Correctional Research, Correctional Services Canada.

Christine Walsh, Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Canada.