For Them All. Women Against Prison

Original title: Pour elles toutes. Femmes contre la prison

Publication Date:

October 2019



Original language and publisher

French | Lux Editeur

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Territories Sold

English (World) (Verso Books)
Italy (Armando)



Number of copies sold:


For Them All. Women Against Prison

Original title: Pour elles toutes. Femmes contre la prison


This book is an analysis of the criminal justice system as a set of laws, courts and sentences that reproduce relations of domination; a methodical analysis of the effects of the existence of the criminal justice system, particularly on women and the relatives of prisoners; an advocacy for an articulation of the theoretical perspectives of criminal abolitionism and feminism; the search for strategies; a review of the practices and experiences of transformative justice from the perspective of women. — La Vie Manifeste (interview)

In her essay For Them All.Women Against Prison, Gwenola Ricordeau reflects on the abolition of the criminal justice system (police, judicial system, prison) from a feminist perspective, in opposition to the dominant currents of feminism that advocate for an ever-increasing use of penalization. — Médiapart

The cause of women serves as a pretext to justify increasingly punitive policies. Abolishing prisons, the police, and even the penal system is an idea that is being debated among emancipation movements. But, in that case, how can justice be done or how can women be protected from their sexual aggressors? — Basta!

The question of the abolition of the police is no longer confined to the radical left. — Médiapart

For many feminists, the fight against gender-based violence requires the incarceration of the aggressors. Gwenola Ricordeau, author of For Them All. Women Against Prison, calls for a struggle that distances itself from the penal system. A challenge? Elements of an answer from the essayist, whose words find a particular resonance in the context of confinement: since March 17, domestic violence has been on the rise. — CQFD

A point of view that goes against the demands for the enforcement of laws and sanctions against aggressors. — Slate

Women are the big losers in the criminal justice system in Western societies, according to Gwenola Ricordeau. In For Them All, this assistant professor of criminal justice at California State University proposes the abolition of prisons because they do not deter crime. — La Presse

For Them All stands out because it is entirely devoted to an idea which, the author herself repeats, a long way from achieving consensus: the abolition of the penal system, the end of incarceration. “I don’t have a solution,” she warns when we meet her in Montreal. I just want to open a debate. — Le Devoir

With For Them All. Women Against Prison, Gwenola Ricordeau achieves a small miracle, bringing together feminist struggles and the struggles for the abolition of the penal system and prison, two movements often presented as antagonistic. — Alter Échos

Feminist struggles and the fight for penal abolition are often presented as conflicting. This book seeks to overcome this impasse by exploring the protection, or lack thereof, that women can expect from the criminal justice system and by investigating the various ways in which it affects women’s lives, whether they are criminalized or have relatives in the system.

Does the criminal justice system protect women? How does the criminal justice system affect women’s lives? Should feminist struggles be “judicial struggles”? In answering these questions, Gwenola Ricordeau denounces the weakness of the feminist proposal that promotes the criminalization of violence against women. Critical of “carceral feminism”, she advocates for building feminist solidarities and the use of transformative justice outside of the criminal justice system.