The Impact of Positionalities and Identities on Women’s Lives and Experiences in a Gender- Responsive Program (GRP) in a Jail Setting

Lisa Baumgartner, Carolyn L. Sandoval

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to analyze the life histories of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their experiences with a jail’s gender-responsive program. Ten women participated in life history interviews. Data was analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) through lenses of positionalities, family systems theory, and identity theory. Childhood abuse and trauma affected women’s life experiences. Their ability to build healthy relationships, trust others and imagine possible selves impacted how they experienced GRP in jail. Age and gender affected how they experienced the criminal justice system. Findings have implications for social justice education and GRPs.


Keywords


gender responsive programming; women; offenders; identity theory; possible selves

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