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The health and medical needs of Victoria's older female prisoners, 1860–1920

Nagy, VM ORCID: 0000-0002-2041-1080 and Piper, AJ 2020 , 'The health and medical needs of Victoria's older female prisoners, 1860–1920' , Health and History, vol. 22, no. 1 , pp. 67-85 , doi: 10.5401/healthhist.22.1.0067.

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Investigations of women's offending have, in historical as well as criminological literature, bypassed women who are labelled as ‘old’. While female offenders have traditionally been a blind spot of the criminal justice system, especially prisons, older women are victims of ‘double invisibility‘—not only their sex but their age has rendered them invisible to authorities and the public as offenders. Using the Central Register of Female Prisoners from Victoria from 1860 to 1920, this paper presents an analysis of the 684 prison records of women who first entered the prison system after fifty years of age. It considers the physical and mental health issues faced by this prisoner cohort and responses from state and criminal justice authorities. We use feminist historical criminology to shine light on those women who have often been invisible in historical and contemporary prison policies and concerns.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Nagy, VM and Piper, AJ
Keywords: female offending, prison, older prisoners, Victoria, crime
Journal or Publication Title: Health and History
Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine
ISSN: 1442-1771
DOI / ID Number: 10.5401/healthhist.22.1.0067
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 ANZSHM

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