Iowa Women's Corrections: A History

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Iowa began building its first prison before achieving statehood, and women were sentenced to penitentiaries prior to the establishment of plans for their own housing. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, incarcerated women transitioned through a series of institutions and confinement environments, often as the result of persistent overcrowding, underfunding, discriminatory laws or practices or to make room for incarcerated men. Early in Iowa’s correctional history, women disproportionately served time for crimes considered to be against public decency, such as prostitution, lewdness and incorrigibility. Over time, their conditions and crimes evolved, but incarcerated women continually faced obstacles, such as access to treatment and programming, adequate facilities and opportunities for reentry and reform. Author Erica Spiller dives deep into this intriguing history.
ISBN: 9781467147255
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Iowa
Images: 30
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Erica Spiller studied English and theater arts at Virginia Commonwealth University and Simpson College. She is a two-time winner of Tallgrass Theatre Company’s Iowa Playwrights Workshop for her plays A Light that Burns and Again and Again, and Eventually. Some of her other published works include “(M)other Dracula and Its Adaptations,” “Currency of the Body and Mind: A Quest for Agency in the Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington” and “Collaboration of Feminist and Postcolonial Discourses in the Plays of Aphra Behn and Caryl Churchill.” Erica was raised in central Iowa, where she currently works in higher education, writes and volunteers as a resident lighting designer at a local theater company. She enjoys spending time with her wife, Lauren; their children, Camden and Austen; and the family’s rescue dogs, Scout and Darcy.
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