Today in Feminist History: Treatment of Women by the Criminal Justice System (December 2, 1913)

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Today in Feminist History is our daily recap of the major milestones and minor advancements that shaped women’s history in the U.S.—from suffrage to Shirley Chisholm and beyond. These posts were written by, and are presented in homage to, our late staff historian and archivist, David Dismore.


The treatment of women by the criminal justice system was denounced today by Louise DeKoven Bowen on the fourth day of the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s convention.

Louise DeKoven Bowen

A close friend of Jane Addams, and Treasurer of Hull House in Chicago, Bowen pointed out a lack of female police officers and women jurors, then called for reform of the courts and prisons to help women and children caught up in the system:

“From the time of the arrest to the final disposition of her case she is handicapped by being in the charge of and…

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