Sex and Prisons: Women and Spanish Penitentiary Reform, 1787‐1808

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Whereas prisons had previously been thought of as transitory places for those awaiting trial, the new prison system aimed at the reformation of convicts. In Spain the first organisation set up to improve prison conditions was the Señoras de las Cárceles. This article shows how the Señoras attempted to erase the sexual aspect of women's prisons and create instead a morally acceptable space in which to educate female prisoners. Their practices reveal how changing ideas about punishment and education, sexuality and gender, entered the Spanish penal system, permeated civil society and facilitated the transition to a different legal regime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-517
Number of pages17
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019


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