Since the 1990s, there has been considerable growth in studies of women’s imprisonment and re-entry as well as an expansion of an interconnected body of work that examines women’s offending internationally. In much of this literature women offenders, whether in prison or not, are portrayed as vulnerable, victimized and in need of care rather than punishment. At the same time, and in some contrast to the largely sympathetic feminist academic literature that has been produced, the number of women behind bars has been growing rapidly; there are now over half a million women and girls held in penal institutions around the world (International Centre for Prison Studies, 2006).