Women are the fastest growing group of incarcerated people in Canada. While feminist criminologists advocate for community alternatives to imprisonment, they often do so without offering a corresponding analysis of existing community programs. And critical criminologists rarely consider gender in their assessment of the options.
This book brings these criminological strands together in a concise and carefully reasoned analysis of alternative justice programs for criminalized women. Drawing on interviews with staff and documents from alternative justice agencies, Amanda Nelund finds that alternative programs neither reproduce dominant justice system norms nor provide complete alternatives. Instead, formal and informal practices reflect the tension between neoliberal and social justice approaches.
A Better Justice? calls attention to the potential that alternative programs have for both alignment with and opposition to criminal justice norms. It is in the potential points of resistance that we can find improved strategies – and ultimately, greater social justice for criminalized women in Canada.
Amanda Nelund is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at MacEwan University. With Andrew Woolford, she co-authored the second edition of The Politics of Restorative Justice: A Critical Introduction, and she is a co-editor of Violence Interrupted: Confronting Sexual Violence on University Campuses.