Indigenous Carceral Motherhood: An Examination of Colonial, Patriarchal, and Neoliberal Control
Despite Canada’s international reputation as a world leader in women’s rights, its own policies and practices continue to target and discriminate against Indigenous women, particularly those who are entangled within the criminal (in)justice and child welfare systems (Monchalin 2016). This article synthesizes international research, with a primary focus on Canada, in order to theorize issues surrounding Indigenous women’s experiences of carceral motherhood. By drawing on critical feminist criminological and Indigenous feminist perspectives, I examine issues related to caretaking and incarceration, mothering from prison (visitations), mothering in prison (mother-child programs), and mothering after prison (parole). Despite rejecting the prison as a solution to “the crime problem,” I conclude by offering tentative recommendations on how to ameliorate Indigenous women’s experiences of carceral motherhood.
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