In 1913, Toronto launched Canada’s first woman’s police court. The court was run by and for women, but was it a great achievement? This multifaceted portrait of the cases, defendants, and officials that graced its halls reveals a fundamental contradiction at the experiment’s core: the Toronto Women’s Police Court was both a site for feminist adaptations of justice and a court empowered to punish women. Reconstructed from case files and newspaper accounts, this engrossing portrait of the trials and tribulations that accompanied an early experiment in feminized justice sheds new light on maternal feminist politics, women and crime, and the role of resistance, agency, and experience in the criminal justice system.
Amanda Glasbeek is an assistant professor of criminology in the Department of Social Science at York University.
Glassbeek's book is an important addition to feminist colloquy as well as feminist inquiry...[a] comprehensive and insightful explanation of how and why a path paved with good intentions became a dead end.