• Employment patterns in the criminal justice system for the most part mirror those found throughout the labour force. While there may be more male than female police officers and more female than male probation officers, these quantitative measures tell only part of the story. A more significant factor is the status of male and female professionals, and in more or less all instances men are relatively more powerful and exert a greater influence.
  • In addition to describing male dominance across the criminal justice sector the factors underlying this gendered discrimination were investigated. By referring to the police culture thesis we illustrated the pervasive influence of a cult of masculinity on the experiences of both male and female police officers. Evidence suggests that heterosexist and hegemonic masculinities influence the behaviour of both the police service and private security outfits.
  • The concept of power was employed to show how hegemonic masculinity is sustained in criminal justice organizations and how it operates against a human rights based agenda. Power functions at various levels and enables state actors to say one thing but do another. Consequently, legislation and policy statements belonging to the HRA and the CEHR are effectively ignored or subverted. A key point is that gendered inequality is central to the workings of criminal justice agencies and that well-intentioned reforms are seldom as progressive as they seem.