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  • Writer's pictureCrime in Latin America

Women Providing and Men Free Riding: Work, Visits and Gender Roles in Mexican Prisons

Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, prisons in Mexico City prohibited visits. This sparked clearly gendered protests: male prison inmates complained that the restrictions left them without resources to deal with prison shortages, while women complained that it prevented them from sending resources to their families. Based on data from life story interviews conducted before the pandemic, we explore visits, prison work, and gendered child-rearing practices in Mexican prisons. We argue that incarcerated mothers adopt a provider role in prison, in contrast to incarcerated fathers, who abandon this traditionally masculine fatherhood role. Suspension of visits thus have distinctly gendered consequences.

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