SAGE Journal Articles
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All the Women in the Maryland State Penitentiary: 1812-1869
Description: Obama Visits Federal Prison In Oklahoma To Tout Criminal Justice Reform
Abstract: This article examines the role of race in the patterns of incarceration of women in the state of Maryland during three critical periods: pre–Civil War, Civil War, and post–Civil War. Maryland, a border state, was wedged geographically and politically between the forces of slavery and abolition. In addition to race, the author identifies female offenders by examining place of birth, age, and occupation. The author supports the view that "plantation justice" was inapplicable to Blacks in Maryland. The author also suggests that the historical neglect of women in prison can be attributed to the small contribution of "native" White women to the total female prison population. Racial differences in why female offenders were incarcerated and how long they were sentenced are addressed. These differences are examined across the three time periods, noting the focus on controlling Blacks (free and slave), women, and immigrants.