Prison from a gender perspective: a systematic review

Sabrina Daiana Cúnico, Helena Salgueiro Lermen


In this study, we developed a systemic literature review (2006-2016) on the prison system considering gender issues, aiming to get to know the themes under study about the incarceration of women and men around the world. The databases used were Scopus, Psycinfo and Virtual Health Library. After the application of the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 32 studies from 13 countries were selected. In the results, it was observed that the theme of mental health, particularly drug addiction, was recurrent. Overall, the studies about women discuss relationships beyond prison and the life trajectories marked by violence. Research on the male prison population, on the other hand, mostly addresses the dynamics established inside the prisons. In addition, the men are given the role of perpetrators of the aggressions, being rarely positioned as victims. Finally, many of the articles analyzed considered gender as dichotomous in gender/sex. That was particularly clear in the studies about mixed penal populations. Beyond critically discussing the different impact and experience of incarceration for both, various studies in the review merely used the concept as a way to descriptively distinguish the collected data.

Palabras clave

Gender; prison; incarceration; systematic review

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Copyright (c) 2020 Sabrina Daiana Cúnico, Helena Salgueiro Lermen

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