‘It’s our anxiety that keeps them locked up’. Protection for whom? Responding to the needs of ‘at risk’ young women in Scotland

Crowley, Annie Rose (2018) ‘It’s our anxiety that keeps them locked up’. Protection for whom? Responding to the needs of ‘at risk’ young women in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3330470


This thesis critiques the constructions of girls and young women who are in, or are considered ‘at risk’ of, secure care or custody by exploring the ways in which they are explained and understood by the practitioners who work closely with them. The research was shaped by feminist concerns and aims, and involved in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 50 practitioners working with young women in a range of settings related to criminal justice in Scotland: prison, secure care, social work, and third-sector community services.  A key concern of the thesis was to contribute to the growing body of knowledge and understanding about these ‘at risk’ young women. The work that exists in the Scottish, and wider UK, sector offers rich insights into different aspects of the experiences of this marginalised population, but very little of this is focused upon the role of the practitioner, or on practice that is conducted with this group of young women. In adding to this under-researched area, the thesis makes several contributions. Firstly, it supports the work of other feminist scholars through adding to the limited body of UK-specific knowledge regarding young women’s pathways into criminal justice contact. Secondly, it contributes to feminist concerns regarding the different and changing modes of social control to which young women are subjected, finding that practitioner contribution of knowledge to such discourses can serve to exacerbate the responsibility that is placed upon them in working with these young women. Thirdly, the thesis details the aspects of working practice that practitioners viewed as key to their work, and by doing so, gives context to understanding why so many practitioners describe finding young women a ‘difficult’ group with whom to work. Lastly the thesis contributes by its exploration of the personal experiences of practitioners in conducting their work, and the working environment and conditions surrounding these, which are framed in the thesis as gendered emotional labour. The thesis makes the argument that practitioners often experience difficulties not only because they are faced with hearing about or experiencing distressing stories, but because of the precarious situations that many work within, and because of the ways in which gendered risk and gendered vulnerability act as tools of governance, leaving them anxious and uncertain about their own ‘risky decisions’ in these insecure work environments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Criminal justice, gender, young women, practitioners, secure care, prison, risk, vulnerability.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Batchelor, Doctor Susan and Burman, Professor Michele
Date of Award: 2018
Embargo Date: 30 October 2024
Depositing User: Ms Annie Rose Crowley
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30975
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 08:22
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2023 13:35
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/30975

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year