Book available for review: “Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System” by Judith Pallot and Elena Katz

A new book is available for review for the Carceral Geography Working Group Book Review series.

The Russian Federation has one of the largest prison populations in the world. Women in particular are profoundly affected by the imprisonment of a family member. ‘Waiting at the Prison Gate’ details the experiences of these women-be they wives, mothers, girlfriends, daughters-who, as relatives of Russia’s three-quarters of a million prisoners, are the “invisible victims” of the country’s harsh penal policy. This book covers the workings of criminal sub-cultures; societal attitudes to parenthood, marriage and marital fidelity; young women’s quests for a husband; nostalgia for the Soviet period; state strategies towards dealing with political opponents; and the social construction of gender roles in twenty-first century Russia.

To review this book for the CGWG, please email Reviews should be c1000 words in length, delivered within 2 months of receipt of the book, and should specifically consider the work in relation to carceral geography and geographical conceptualisations of confinement. Reviews will be published on the website.