Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 2 February 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



  • We seek your support to meet the expenses relating to the formatting of articles and books, maintaining and running the journal through hosting, correrspondences, etc.Please write to the Editor in his e-mail address to find out how you can support this journal.
  • Also please use the AMAZON link to buy your books. Even the smallest contribution will go a long way in supporting this journal. Thank you. Thirumalai, Editor.

In Association with




  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Contributors from South Asia may send their articles to
    B. Mallikarjun,
    Central Institute of Indian Languages,
    Mysore 570006, India
  • Your articles and booklength reports should be written following the MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2008
M. S. Thirumalai



M. Nagesh Kumari, Ph.D.

Central Prison in Coimbatore
Inside the Central Prison in Coimbatore

In recent times, the number of criminal offences committed by females has increased at a much higher rate than the number of crimes committed by males. In India it is estimated that the female crime rate has increased by 362.53 per cent for a period from 1971 to 1990. Socially the crimes committed by females are considered to be more serious when compared with the male criminality because of the role played by a woman as mother, wife, caretaker and more to say a central figure in the family. The various dimensions of women and crime have recently been developed into a broad field of research in the areas of Social Work, Sociology, Criminology and Women Studies. Starting from Otto Pollak (1950), Smith (1962), Sharma (1965), Ahuja (1969), Eliott and Voss (1974), Elizabeth Winshuttle (1981), Nagla (1982), Rani (1983), Khosh (1986) Joseph (1992), Saxena (1994) etc., are notable researchers who immensely contributed to the knowledge of women and crime. For the past two decades the topic of women and crime has began to attract much attention because of renewed interest in Women and Economic Development.

Research and experience have indicated that women in comparison to men are no different in terms of their personality, achievement, motivation, dependency and other related attitudes. Therefore there is a vast potential remaining untapped, which could be fully handled and guided to join the main stream of economic development. They have proved themselves successful in all fields in which they have been given an opportunity. The concern to develop women resulted from the fact that they represent 50 per cent of the world population, but receive only 10 per cent of the world's income and own less than 1 per cent of the assets. In this juncture a micro level study on socio-economic status of women prisoners was planned to suggest various strategies for their rehabilitation.

Need for the study

Traditionally, the Indian woman has been the foundation stone of the family and society in general. She creates life, nurtures it, guards and strengthens it. In her task, as mother, she plays a vital role in the development of the nation. She is, as wife and mother, committed to serving the family, but she is also its center, for it is through her that the family is perpetuated and in this lies the pride of her status in society at large. She is the transmitter of tradition, the instrument by which Indianculture is preserved. If the foundation is not solid or carefully maintained by those responsible for her protection, not merely the family but the society itself is bound to crack and dismember. Modernization, industrialization and urbanization have been invoked to account for the upsurge of female delinquency because they correlate closely with each other. As urbanization increases traditional roles decrease with increased mobility, people loose stability and continuous personal relationships are disrupted.

There is a definite need for more in-depth and intensive study on female criminality to acquire greater insight into the problem. For the past two decades the topic of women and crime has begun to draw much attention because of the recent interest in women and their development.

There is a great need to study women in crime because the place and role of women in the Indian society has undergone considerable changes during the last two decades leading to a greater participation in the criminal activities by them. Since the research on women criminals is fragmentary in nature, scope and coverage, and is still in initial stages, the present study examines and explains women prisoners status in the socio-economic context.

Crime has become a major area of public policy and political debate, and to politicians and public commentators it is often seen as a sign of underlying problems in society. Governments, academic researchers and other commentators ask many questions about crime. Why do women commit crime? What is their socio-economic status? How should offenders be dealt with? How can the rehabilitation process motivate the prisoners to lead a better life with values? These issues all arouse considerable discussion and debate. Enormous amount of information has been produced in the attempt to study the socio-economic profile of women prisoners.

In India, only a few studies worth their name have been conducted on prison life of women criminals in relation to their socio-economic background and prison life and as to how far the socio-cultural background influences a person to commit crime.

Objectives of the study

i) To analyse the socio-economic background of the women prisoners.
ii) To understand the nature and extent of crime.
iii) To find out the suitable strategies for the rehabilitation of women offenders.

Importance of the study

  • This study will help the social reformers to find the reasons for women to commit crimes and help them to devise remedial measures.
  • This will also help the government officials and policy makers to draft new schemes for the upliftment of the women prisoners and the needy sector.


During the first year of the project that is, April 2005-March 2006 an interview schedule (annexure I) was prepared and a pre-test was conducted with 10 respondents who accepted willingly.

Central Prison in Madurai
Central Prison Entrance in Madurai, a Major City in Tamilnadu

During the second year information was collected from 88 respondents during September 2006 to December 2006. There were 148 women prisoners during September 2006 to December 2006 who were imprisoned for various crimes like murder, attempt to murder, theft, smuggling, prostitution etc. But only 88 prisoners co-operated with the researcher. The responses of 10 per-test schedule was combined with 88 responses in the final analysis. The interview schedules were administered among the prisoners of Coimbatore District jail with prior permission obtained from the officials.

It was ensured that the response given in the interview schedule has been voluntary and with a purpose to know the real outcome of the analysis.

Sources of Data

The study consists of primary and secondary source of data. Primary data was collected by a structured Interview Schedule from women prisoners. It consist of personal profile, socio - economic background, causes and nature of crime, attitudes and expectations of the respondents and their future plan after release.

There were personal observations, interviews and group discussion. Through observation method various kinds of information were collected while being present in the prison. A number of hours spent in the prison enabled the researcher to understand the various functions of the prison. During the course of the interview close observation was possible to gather information regarding the behaviour of the inmates, their inter-personal relationships with the staff and inmates, etc. During the administration of the interview schedule the researcher opted more for an informal rather than a formal interview. It was more or less like a discussion rather than questioning them. Focussed group discussion technique to understand the attitude of prisoners (annexure II) was also very much helpful to establish a rapport with the respondents which made the purpose much easier to achieve.

The respondents participated very well in the discussion and revealed information freely without any hesitation.

Personal observation, discussion with the prison personnel and police officials and criminal records in the prison also form the part of data collection.

The secondary data was collected from various books and journals in academic institution libraries including Madras University, Madurai Kamaraj University, Bharathiar University, Home Science University, P.S.G. Arts and Science College, Bishop Appasamy College and from official sources like Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore, Central Prison, Coimbatore.

Nature of the Study

The present research is exploratory as the social economic and other factors are investigated in order to know the profile of the Women prisoners and to give suggestions for their rehabilitation.

Statistical Tools

The simple statistical tools* namely, mean, standard deviation, Chi-square analysis was adopted for the non-parametric test to perform the test of independence and goodness of fit. Tables and charts have been used to present the results wherever necessary.

Operational Definitions

Crime - Crime is any act or behaviour by a person which violates the norms of society. It may be a theft, a robery, a murder, sexual abuse or kidnapping.

Women Criminals - A woman who has been found guilty of criminal behaviour convicted under Indian Penal Codes and sentenced to imprisonment. The undertrial prisoners were also considered as prisoners for the purpose of the study.

Convicts - Convicts are those who are legally identified as criminals and undergoing punishment during the study period in the prison of Coimbatore.

Undertrials - Undertrials are those who are housed in prisons and for them the trial is pending before the court of law.

Remandant - A person who has been arrested under suspicion will be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours and then kept in the jail for 15 days before the trial.

Chapters in This Report

The present study has been categorized into five chapters.

  • The first chapter deals with Introduction and Methodology. In the Introductory part, the scope and importance of the study and objectives of the study are dealt with. The Methodology consists of research design, universe, tools of data collection, techniques of data collection.
  • In the second chapter the review of literature pertaining to women criminals are discussed.
  • In the third chapter the increasing number of women criminals in prisons and a description about Coimbatore District Central Prison was given.
  • The fourth chapter deals with data analysis and interpretation.
  • Findings, summary, conclusion and suggestions made are presented in the fifth chapter.

Limitations of the study

The study attempts to find out the socio-economic background of the females who have been imprisoned in Coimbatore District Central Prison during the course of the study. The convicts and under-trials and the remanded were considered as respondents in the present study. This is purely a socio-economic approach to understand the problem of female crime in the society from an economic perspective. At the geographical level, the study is confined to Coimbatore District Prison.

This is only the beginning part of the report. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE REPORT IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Development of Stroop Effect in Bilinguals | Subtlety, Mockery and Dharma in Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel | Language Alternation Strategies in Nigerian Hip Hop and Rap Texts | Faithfulness and Adequacy in Translation - A Case Study of the Translation of a Poem Written by Bharathiar | Indianized English in Shashi Deshpande's That Long Silence | Naipaul's Perception of India | Teaching English Word Formation in Academic Writing - Analysis and Remedy | Sabotaged Submission - Interpreting the Role of Women in Scriptures | Socio-economic Profile of Women Prisoners | Study on the Levels of Living of Self-help Groups in Coimbatore District, with Particular Reference to Thondamuthur and Perianaicken Palayam Blocks | Agreement in Tamil and Telugu | Etymological Analysis for Some Words of Body Parts in Semitic Languages (Especially in Arabic & Hebrew) | HOME PAGE of February 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

M. Nagesh Kumari, Ph.D.
Department of Economics
P.S.G.R. Krishnammal College For Women
Tamilnadu, India

  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknolwedged the work or works of others you either cited or used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian scholarship.