Too Few to Matter: Institutional Inertia in the Prisoning of Women in Canada and Québec
Parution: 15 novembre 2023
Nb. de pages:
By focusing on the incarceration of women in Canada and Québec, Joane reveals that imprisonment, as a penal device, is surprisingly tenacious.
In 2010, Correctional Service Canada closed two decrepit prisons designated for men. Hoping to reduce prison overcrowding, the Québec government rented one of them—the Leclerc prison—and transferred approximately 250 male prisoners serving a provincial sentence. One year later, Québec closed its main provincial prison designated for women, and swiftly transferred the women to the Leclerc prison where men were housed. At Leclerc, women endured dehumanizing conditions condemned by scholars, advocacy groups, and the media as violations of basic human rights. Challenging living conditions enduring at the Leclerc prison suggest that women’s imprisonment is resisting significant change despite studies and governmental inquiries since the middle of the 19th century having documented the dire situation, and the specific needs of imprisoned women in Canada. This book proposes a critical rereading of women’s penal history in Canada and argues that policies and practices regarding women’s prisoning are path dependent and tend to follow a locked-in trajectory.