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Battered Women Doing Time: Injustice in the Criminal Justice System

Rachel Zimmer Schneider
Battered Women Doing Time: Injustice in the Criminal Justice System
ISBN: 978-1-935049-79-1
ISBN: 978-1-62637-292-4
2013/153 pages/LC: 2013025072
A FirstForumPress Book
Also of interest:  Women Behind Bars: Gender and Race in US Prisons by Vernetta D. Young and Rebecca Riviere
"Fast moving, clearly written.... Schneider provides convincing evidence of the injustices women continue to face in the criminal justice system and society in general."—Patricia Gagné, University of Louisville


When is killing an abusive partner an act of murder, and when is it self-defense? How does our criminal justice system deal with battered women who kill, and to what effect? Rachel Schneider traces the lives of women who sought clemency after being imprisoned for killing their abusers, drawing on a series of intimate interviews to explore the circumstances leading up to the killings, the women’s experiences in the courts and in prison, and the diverging paths of those whose sentences were commuted and those who will spend their lives behind bars.


Rachel Zimmer Schneider is lecturer in sociology at the University of Akron.


  • Strength, Resilience, and Survival.
  • Life Before Prison.
  • The Killing and the Aftermath.
  • Life on the Inside.
  • Clemency: Denied.
  • Clemency: Granted.
  • Deserving or Not?
  • Making Sense of It All.