Impact Proposal 3700
Popular in Women and Criminal Justice
Popular in Criminal Justice
This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by SheilaJo McBryant on Wednesday May 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 3700 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Dr. Elizabeth Lawrence in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Women and Criminal Justice in Criminal Justice at Middle Tennessee State University.
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Date Created: 05/04/16
Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 1 Women Professionals in the Criminal Justice System How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go From Here? SheilaJo McBryant Middle Tennessee State University Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 2 Abstract A brief history is examined concerning the oppression women endured while seeking equality during the Industrial Revolution and beyond. There were many women who were early pioneers in the professional and political arena who were instrumental in creating a sense of security for those following in their footsteps. Women could pursue careers in professional and/ or political work climates to varying degrees. Still, women have moved into an everpresent patriarchal society in the 21 Century. Negative, sexist stigmas remain a forerunner to much of what they attempt to accomplish professionally. Data and discourse will show that although women have gained considerably in position, status and wages in the job market and have built powerful political foundations globally, there is still much work to be done to improve upon the conditions, in general, that they work in. Specifically speaking about women professionals in the Criminal Justice System this paper will discuss, in depth, the problematic environment and negative psychological conditions which are strikingly prevalent in this field and how it can be overcome by all in order to enable women to do their individual best and excel in this field as professionals. keywords: oppression, women, professionals, criminal justice system Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 3 The names of great women professionals who have had careers in the Criminal Justice System cannot go without notice. It will be the women who have witnessed the accomplishments of these great women in their own lifetime or those who have taken these histories into deep consideration and applied the experiences to their lives that will continue to pave the way for all women going into this field as a professional at any level. The following women are notable within the context of the proposal: Sandra Day O’Connor (1930) After graduating from Law School, O’Connor couldn’t find a law firm willing to hire a woman and took a job as a secretary in an attorney’s office. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed her as the first United States Supreme Court Justice. She served a term from 19812006. (South University, 2013) Freda Adler (1934) Adler has influenced the global community with her contributions to the field of criminology and etiology of crime as well as having published papers on female criminality and substance abuse. (South University, 2013) Alice Stebbins Wells (18731957) After appealing to the mayor, city council and police department she was the first female police officer to join the Los Angeles Police Department. During her career, she founded the International Association of Police Women. She was its first president and spent time promoting the recruitment of women Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 4 to the police force across the nation as well as becoming an advocate for children. (South University, 2013) Janet Reno (1938) In 1963, Reno was one of only 16 women to graduate from Harvard Law School out of a class of 500 students. She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as the first female U. S. Attorney General. She is the second longest serving after William Wirt but has served the longest in the 20th century, having served from1993 to 2001. (South University, 2013) Beverly J. Harvard (1951) Harvard won a $100 bet against her, entered the police academy and became a police officer in Atlanta, GA in 1977. She was the first African American woman to ever be appointed chief of police of a major city Atlanta, GA and served from 19942002. She was also the first woman to graduate from the FBI’s National Academy. (South University, 2013) The work and experiences of these women go directly against the social mores of the time. It was not main stream for women to even be out of the home working. These women were taking advantage of higher education. They were entering the workforce and creating long term careers in the Criminal Justice System. Women have served in the Criminal Justice System dating back to the Revolutionary War. (The Early Years, N.D.) Although not in the capacity we see throughout modern history, we can still see there were those who felt compelled to serve within the justice system. Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 5 The history of the Women’s Suffrage movement and the passing of the 19 Amendment th give clarity to their success and those who forged the path before them. While the 19 Amendment was not nationally ratified until 1920, there were forces working for the cause state by state, territory by territory. In the West, women found a new way of life. It required them to work alongside the men in their lives, leaving the feminine ideals of Victorian societal mores of the East behind them. The idea that women deserved the right to vote had been spreading in the United States since the mid 1800’s. Each time it was put to a vote, the bill fell short of passing. In the Wyoming territory, now known as “The Equality State”, the voting rights of former slaves and women were at the forefront of debate. Through a strange turn of events, in 1869 an equality bill was passed which prompted the resignation of a man serving a term as justice of the peace. Women of power (i.e. business owners and women who believed they were equal to men) were leading a campaign for equality and in 1870 the first woman in the nation to hold public office was appointed to serve as justice of the peace. Esther Hobart Morris filled the vacancy left by her predecessor because of his disagreement with granting any equal rights to blacks or women. (Neal, 2006) In Teresa S. Neal’s book “Evolution Toward Equality” we read about the men and women behind the movement in Wyoming and their determination. “The more exceptional women such as Esther Morris, Mary Garrett, Mary Bellamy and Estelle Reed Meyer adapted to their new environment and excelled at vital public roles. What made them advance more quickly than other women was their willingness to offer their services to their community, state and country. Each woman found their selfidentity more suitable to public sphere where they could be independent and selfreliant. Women who held public office in the West, like those who worked Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 6 in the professional fields, developed their confidence from the encouragement from male role models, especially fathers and brothers. They recognize their ability and talents to succeed in that had been traditionally reserved for men. They also realized they could not rely on standard laws and Eastern customs to protect their rights as humans. Their environmental and social conditions taught them that they could work with men and achieve equality.” (Neal, 2006) They were able to give the movement for Women’s Suffrage a very strong foundation. In their newly formed state legislature the passing of the Bright Bill catapulted both blacks and th women’s voting rights directly through the turn of the century and into the 20 Century. It would be many long years before the ratification of the 19 Amendment, still, the movement was put in motion and there was no turning back. Not only did women now have the right to vote, but they could hold public office, own land and property separate from their husbands, and receive equal compensation as men for certain jobs such as teaching children. Women in Wyoming set the standard but they also endured hardships and naysayers as to their real contributions politically. In 1902, the first woman in the world to hold an elected office was my maternal Great, Great, Great Aunt Mary A. Banner Garrett. She was elected to serve as a Justice of the Peace in Garrett, Wyoming. She held this office for 20 years. She also served as Post Master beginning in 1888 in Rock River and gave up the post to become the Post Master in Garrett. (Beach, 1927) History shows that women were not thought of as capable enough to balance both home and family. They were believed to be fragile and delicate and couldn’t withstand the rigors of functioning within the vast confines of a male dominated world. Today, women still endure Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 7 these same prejudices in their work environments. The “Madonna/Whore” duality is still alive in the perception men have of women as discussed above but also the “ready sources of offspring, physical satisfaction, adornment, cheap labor and entertainment.” ( Feinman, 1994) Though small in numbers, comparatively, with the help of their male supporters, they proved to be hearty and carried through knowing the risk to their reputation and welfare of their families. Although laws have been enacted to protect their civil rights, those employed outside the home remain in the crossfire of the long held and often heated debate in the general public that says they are not suited to perform as well as men in any jobs other than those pertaining to the traditional women’s role, nor can they balance both work and home without negatively affecting their ability to perform at one or the other. As shown in the historical data, appointed and elected positions held by women were slow to be filled and on the grand scale continue in that vein regardless of the strength and power exhibited both in the past as well as in the present. Reflecting on the support given to the women in the territory of Wyoming by their male counterparts and family members, women today are similarly and often times more broadly supported by the same male figures in their lives and are making headway in their chosen fields within the Criminal Justice System. The stigmas of sexism still wage war on them to various degrees but they are handling it well, working harder than ever and balancing home and work as they fulfill their positions and continue to make not only important but necessary contributions to society. Working as a woman with both men and women offenders in any capacity can be a daunting undertaking. Negative work environments, such as those previously discussed prohibit a person Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 8 from truly working to their best ability. It takes a special type of person to be able to facilitate change and make a difference in the lives of offenders while aiding in their reentrance to life outside of incarceration and reducing recidivism rates. There are various types of positions in the Criminal Justice field that women have been successful in fulfilling. These include but are not limited to: Policing, Law, Judicial, Corrections, Counseling within Corrections and now Victim Advocacy. In the field of victim advocacy a woman can find employment in a broad range of areas. Securing both justice for the victim and the welfare of their emotional, mental and physical well being takes place through a number of channels. Shielding the victim from future re victimization by working in an administrative positions such as the running of a nonprofit organization, working on a crisis hotline, in medical or psychological counseling positions, legal positions or as a personal advocate for a victim can be rewarding. It consists of intense job training. Receiving a formal education steeped in the knowledge of the Criminal Justice System, Social Work and Psychology are additional ways a woman can further her career. In this proposal, women advocating for victims of crime is the main focus. The field of victim advocacy doesn’t find itself in the crossfire of arbitrary sexist perceptions the way the other fields listed do. The stigmas of the past are being left at the door more and more every day, though there is much work to be done, admittedly. To the credit of the field of victim advocacy it should be noted that a woman seeking employment in this particular field should face less opposition from male counterparts as do their female peers working in other areas of the Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 9 Criminal Justice System since they are performing the work that generally is considered exactly what women are designed to do: caring for others. Although there are brighter horizons for these women professionals in comparison to their female counterparts working in other Criminal Justice fields, they have an especially difficult obstacle when it comes to remaining effective in their chosen profession. This paper will examine both the gratifying victories and the sometimes detrimental hardships of an advocate for victim’s rights. References 5 Influential Women in the History of Criminal Justice. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/5InfluentialWomeninthe HistoryofCriminal Justice The Early Years of American Law Colonial Freedom, Britain's Push For Greater Control, A New Start, A New Criminal Court System. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://law.jrank.org/pages/11900/EarlyYearsAmericanLaw.html Neal, T. S. (2006). Evolution toward equality: Equality for women in the American West (p. 93). Lincoln, NE: IUniverse. Neal, T. S. (2006). Evolution toward equality: Equality for women in the American West (p. 125). Lincoln, NE: IUniverse. Neal, T. S. (2006). Evolution toward equality: Equality for women in the American West (p. 129). Lincoln, NE: IUniverse. Beach, C. M. (1927). Mary A. Garrett. In Women of Wyoming (p. 425). Casper, WY: C.M. Beach. Running head: WOMEN PROFESSIONALS 10 Feinman, C. (1994). Women in the criminal justice system (p. 195). Westport, CT: Praeger.
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