The Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development yesterday launched its report on women in the criminal justice system, including papers from a conference on the same topic held late last year. The report was launched by Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness, who is said to have noted that murders committed by women attract widespread media and therefore most public attention, rather than less sensational and less serious offences.
The relative absence from public discourse and official attention of women who are involved in criminality in Ireland replicates a pattern where women were ignored for many years in criminology, given that offending behaviour was presumed to be typically male and so explanations of male crime were seen to explain all crime. Women were viewed as law-abiding by nature, and as likely victims rather than perpetrators of crime, thereby perpetuating the stereotype of the woman as passive and in need of protection. Continue reading