Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Mullins, Christopher


The current study examined the social factors that have influenced the rising female incarceration rates in Japan between 1970 and 2011, based on two theoretical explanations: Women's behavioral change thesis (women's liberation thesis and economic marginalization thesis), and policy change thesis (arrest and prosecutorial effect). Based on the secondary data obtained from the Japanese government's statistics, time series analysis was conducted. The results didn't support liberation thesis, whereas economic marginalization thesis and policy change thesis (prosecutorial effect) were supported to explain the rising female incarceration rate for special law crimes in Japan. On the other hand, two general indicators of ecoomic and political conditions in Japan had strong impact on the female incarceration rate for both penal code and special law crimes. Implications were discussed, basing on the cultural backgrounds of gender stratification, criminal justice processing and the broader economic and political conditions in Japan.




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