Exploring women's and men's pathways to imprisonment in Thailand:
Ethical, practical and theoretical challenges
seminar presented by Dr Samantha Jeffries, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith Institute of Criminology
3pm Friday 30 September 2016
Oorala Lecture Theatre, UNE
Thailand currently incarcerates the largest number of female offenders and has the highest female incarceration rate in South East Asia. Since the 1990s, there has been a substantial shift in the number, proportion and rates of females imprisoned in Thailand. Between 1993 and 2013 female prisoner numbers grew by over 400%, increasing from n=6,957 (8.3% of the total prison population) to n=42,209 (14.5%). In the same period, female incarceration rates increased from 23.6 to 128.1 per 100,000.
The gender gap between male/female rate ratios also narrowed. In 2016, Ms Chonit Chuenurah, her amazing research team from the Thailand Institute of Justice and Dr Jeffries decided to explore the reasons behind these trends via an extensive in-depth exploration of women and men’s pathways to prison in Thailand. They conducted close to two hundred in-depth life history interviews over a three-month period in eight prisons across four different regions of Thailand.
The purpose was to ascertain if gender differences existed in:
1) the type, frequency and context of criminal behavior that led to women’s and men’s incarceration?
2) women’s and men’s journeys through and experiences of the criminal justice system?
3) the life experiences and circumstances that led women and men into prison.
In this seminar Dr Jeffries will discuss some of the ethical, practical, and theoretical challenges she faced as a western trained feminist criminologist undertaking research in the Thai context.