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Women & Incarceration Essay

  • Submitted by: josuegarcia
  • on June 22, 2014
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,204 words

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Below is an essay on "Women & Incarceration" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Women and Incarceration
Josue Garcia
Westwood College

The female prison population in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate. Specifically, from 2000 through 2009, the number of women incarcerated in state or federal prisons rose by 21.6 percent, compared to just a 15.6 percent increase for men. While the number of incarcerated men still far exceeds the number of incarcerated women, which was 205,000 women overall in prison or jail in 2010, the growth of the female prison population has a distinct effect on families and communities that are torn apart as a result. What’s more, sexual violence, drug dependence, and poverty are all strongly correlated with women’s incarceration, meaning that our society still chooses to punish instead of heal—we lock women up instead of providing services that could help them live healthy, secure, and productive lives. Moreover, women of color experience all of these factors at disproportionate rates, which means that they also have a greater likelihood of becoming entangled in the criminal justice system.
A recent report released by the Sentencing Project, however, finds that there has been a dramatic shift in racial disparities among women inmates over the past decade. While black women were incarcerated in state and federal prisons at six times the rate of white women in 2000, this ratio declined by 53 percent, or about 2.8-to-1, by 2009. The disparity between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women declined by 16.7 percent over the same period.
Women and Incarceration
There are likely many factors at play in this laudable shift in racial disparities among incarcerated women including but not limited to changes in law enforcement and sentencing practices and policies, or the involvement of women in crime but the same report suggests that the reduced number of drug incarcerations is the likely explanation for a significant portion of the trend. That fact alone should be lifted up because African...

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