Girls Behind Bars

Girls Behind Bars: Reclaiming Education in Transformative Spaces

by Suniti Sharma

Suniti Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, Innovation at The University of Texas, Brownsville. She teaches socio-cultural foundations in education and curriculum theory. She has published in Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Race Ethnicity and Education, and Issues in Teacher Education. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2013
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4411-5232-9 (hardback)

    978-1-4411-1124-1 (epdf)

    978-1-4411-8675-1 (epub)

    978-1-4725-5298-3 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
  • Published Online:
Girls Behind Bars
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While scholarship on the education of youth behind bars has largely focused on boys, more than one in three youth arrests in the United States is female. Girls Behind Bars sets out to address this imbalance.

First, the book offers autobiographies, life-stories, and counter-stories in order to counter simplistic generalizations and empirical prescriptions. Next, the study provides the educational community with critical perspectives that examine empiricist epistemologies and positivist methodologies that label certain groups of girls as delinquent and mark them for punitive and corrective treatment behind bars. Third, the book opens up the discussion on girls' gender, desire, and sexuality by offering a language for these issues absent in educational discourse. Finally, the book supports calls for educators and practitioners in their desire to envision and create transformative spaces that enable young girls behind bars to reclaim their education.

Including a foreword by William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, this important and powerful book gives voice to a neglected, silenced, and misrepresented population – young girls behind bars.