The Imprisonment of Women in Southeast Asia: Trends, Patterns, Comparisons and the Need for Further Research
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Using extant data, this paper describes and compares trackable variations in the imprisonment of women over the last couple of decades across eight Southeast Asian countries including the following: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar. Aside from Myanmar, preliminary observations suggest increases in women's prisoner numbers, rates and share of those incarcerated with growth corresponding but generally outstripping that found for men. Comparatively speaking, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore ranked highly on measures of women's incarceration and growth while Malaysia scored at the lower end of the scale. Growth in the imprisonment of women is especially high in Indonesia and Cambodia whereas Myanmar is characterised by the high use of imprisonment for women but minimal growth. Elucidating these results was complicated by a distinct dearth of reliable data and/or regionally specific research pertaining to the imprisonment of women in the relevant nation-states. Limited information available in three jurisdictions (Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia) suggests that policy changes, alongside shifting criminal justice system responses to particular types of crime, could be driving upward trends and disproportionately impacting on the imprisonment of women. In conclusion, it is argued that there is a pressing need for both country-specific and cross-regional research on the incarceration of women in Southeast Asia.
Asian Journal of Criminology
© 2014 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Asian Journal of Criminology, December 2014, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 253–269. Asian Journal of Criminology is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.
Criminology not elsewhere classified