Fragile Moralities sets out to construct a history of a UK women’s non-custodial facility (pseudonymously referred to as Vernon Lodge) which is currently a bail and probation hostel staffed by probation and opened in the nineteenth century as the County Refuge for the Destitute, with the mission of reforming deviant women. Since its opening, the establishment has been used for a variety of purposes connected with the protection and rehabilitation of women in trouble with the law in some way or another, and the author’s main argument is

“that what primarily links the past with the present, in terms of this form of institutionalisation, is the constancy of the discourses and practices mobilised to identify, explain and manage ‘deviant’ women.” (p5)

The...

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