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'Without fists' : age-mixing and its influence on safety and criminal contamination in women's prisons
journal contributionposted on 2012-06-01, 00:00 authored by Sophie GoldingaySophie Goldingay
Prisons are often considered to be places where violence and intimidation prevail, and where young prisoners are at risk of victimisation from adult prisoners. For this reason, youth in custody are housed separately from adult offenders in most Western jurisdictions. In New Zealand, for a variety of reasons, a separate facility for young women in custody is not provided as it is for young men. Therefore, researchers were able to conduct a study to investigate the experience of age-mixing from the point of view of young women in custody. Dominant notions of what constitutes contamination and who perpetrates violence in the custodial setting have been challenged as a result of analysis of this data. In fact, young women who were age-mixed in custody asserted that age-mixing has the effect of decreasing the degree and impact of the prevailing violent culture.