Elizabeth Comack is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba and a CCPA–MB research associate. Her book, Coming Back to Jail: Women, Trauma, and Criminalization, will be launched at McNally Robinson Booksellers Grant Park on Thursday, June 7. Starts at 7pm.
Published some two decades ago, Elizabeth Comack’s Women in Trouble explored the connections between the women’s abuse histories and their law violations as well as their experience of imprisonment in an aged facility. What has changed for incarcerated women in those twenty years? Are experiences of abuse continuing to have an impact on the lives of criminalized women? How do women find the experience of imprisonment in a new facility?
In Coming Back to Jail, Comack shows how — despite recent moves to be more “gender responsive” — the prisoning of women is ultimately more punishing than empowering. What is more, because the sources of the women’s trauma reside in the systemic processes that have contoured their lives and their communities, true healing will require changing women’s social circumstances on the outside so they no longer keep coming back to jail.
Elizabeth Comack is a professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. Over the past three decades she has written and conducted research on a variety of social justice topics. Elizabeth’s current research projects stem from her involvement in the Manitoba Research Alliance’s SSHRC Partnership project, “Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty.” Elizabeth leads the Justice, Safety, and Security stream of the project.