In Portugal, the proportion of foreign nationals among women inmates rose significantly in the first decade of the 21st Century. This increase draws attention to the need for understanding foreign women’s pathways and their identity (re)construction while in custody. Those were the aims of the research project presented in this article, which comprised in-depth interviews with 41 foreign national women in prison. Results show several migratory paths before custody, where gender plays a crucial role. In the experience of imprisonment, citizenship seems to be essential as it can be an obstacle for accessing the outside or the explanation for an expulsion sentence. At the same time, nationality and ethnicity play an important role as organizers of social relations in prison. In light of these results, it is suggested that prison should be rethought from a lens of gender and citizenship.
- Foreign nationals