Margaret Shaw


Margaret Shaw is a sociologist and research and policy advisor. She had taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University, Montréal for the past ten years. Prior to coming to Canada she worked as a criminologist at the Home Office, England. She is a board member of the Société Elizabeth Fry du Québec and of CAEFS. She has undertaken a substantial amount of research on women’s involvement in lawbreaking and imprisonment. Recent publications include: “Is there a Feminist Future for Women’s Prisons?” Prison 2000: An International Perspective on the Current State and Future of Imprisonment and “‘Knowledge Without Acknowledgment’: Violent Women the Prison and the Cottage.” Her current work is on penal policy, and on risk and classification.

  • An Ideal Prison?

    Critical Essays on Women’s Imprisonment in Canada

    Edited by Kelly Hannah-Moffat and Margaret Shaw     January 2000

    Ten years after the publication of Creating Choices, a remarkable report on women’s imprisonment in Canada, this book sets out to reflect on attempts to reform prison. In a series of critical essays, the contributors stimulate reflection and discussion. They explore the effects of punishment and penality on women’s lives, the impact of feminist reforms on the lives of women in prison and the systemic barriers which limit change in the context of both provincial and federal prisons. Each of the authors has a personal and sometimes intimate knowledge of the recent history of women’s prisons in Canada. Taking Creating Choices as a starting point, these essays question the role of prisons in our society, the importance of taking account of gender and its intersection with race and class, and the problems of both weak feminist models and the co-optation of feminist ideals and Aboriginal spirituality by correctional systems.