Women, Reentry and Employment: Criminalized and Employable? explores the conflicting discourses about employment for women who are exiting prison. It empirically outlines the landscape of employability supports available to reentering women, the ‘steps to employment’ women are directed to follow, and the barriers to employment they face and theoretically explores the subject positions of criminalized and employable women.

This book offers a contemporary contribution to the scholarship of the past three decades that has queried, monitored, and challenged practices and policies relating to women’s corrections in Canada. Based on data gathered about community-based employment supports available to reentering women in Ontario, Canada, exploring how language constructs the subject positions of criminalized and employable women, and bringing into conversation the extensive body of work about women’s employment and employability and reintegration, the book marks a unique but important intersection of these empirical and theoretical domains. Central to the book is the juxtaposition of two key subject positions mobilized in women’s corrections. One is that of the criminalized woman, a subject whose experiences of trauma and marginalization have rendered her emotionally and mentally broken; she is constrained by her past and incapable of acting towards her future. The other subject position is that of the employable woman who is future oriented, confident, and ‘responsible’ for her own socio-economic inclusion. How do reentering women experience, inhabit, and resist these incompatible subject positions?

Challenging the invisibilization of women’s experiences in the criminal justice system, Women, Reentry and Employment will be of great interest to students and scholars of Criminology, Penology, and Women’s Studies.

chapter 1|32 pages


Women, reentry, and employment

chapter 2|29 pages

Making women ‘ready’

Employment supports for reentering women

chapter 3|20 pages

‘You want them to know you, not know the inmate’

Managing the stigma of criminal records

chapter 4|25 pages

“These women are so broken”

The broken, criminalized woman

chapter 6|24 pages

Being a ‘working person’

Engagement, ambivalence, and rejection

chapter 7|16 pages


Criminalized and employable