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2006 - American Society of Criminology (ASC) Words: 239 words || 
1. Bemiller, Michelle. "“The System S-U-C-K-S”-An Examination of Noncustodial Mothers' Experiences in Family Court" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 01, 2006 <Not Available>. 2019-06-27 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Injustice and inequality that exists in the criminal courts has been well documented by both sociologists and criminologists. Unequal access to resources (e.g., money, knowledge) has been cited as a contributing factor to this inequality. Less information, however, is known about inequities and injustices that are experienced in the family court system. Today, many women find themselves in the position of noncustodial parent. Even though this population has increased over the years, little research has focused on women’s experiences during child custody litigation. This is a surprising gap in the literature. In an attempt to fill this void, this study discusses noncustodial mothers’ experiences with family courts in northeastern Ohio. Using one-on-one interviews with sixteen noncustodial mothers, findings from this study indicate that women’s experiences in family court mirror experiences that minorities have in criminal court. Women regularly cited unequal access to resources (e.g., lawyers, information regarding court processes) and gender bias as common problems experienced during custody proceedings. More specifically, judges ignored allegations of abuse as well as other criminal activities of fathers when making custody decisions. The mothers believed that these unfair decisions were exacerbated by the fact that they could not afford legal representation and that they were not knowledgeable about court processes. Over and over, the mothers in this study indicated that they were treated unjustly by the court system and that the courts were not operating under the best interests of the child standard.

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