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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Women in the Criminal Justice System Briefing Sheets (The Sentencing Project)

  • Organization: Sentencing Project
  • Document Type: Report
  • Date Created: Monday, June 25, 2007
  • Submitted: Monday, June 25, 2007
  • Attachment(s): LINK
The Sentencing Project is pleased to announce the publication of a series of briefing sheets on Women in the Criminal Justice System. The series documents the gender implications of changes that have occurred over the last 20 years within the criminal justice system, including expansive law enforcement, stiffer drug sentencing laws and re-entry barriers. The briefing sheets delve into family, socioeconomic and physical and mental health issues that women - and their families - face as a result of being incarcerated. Women in the Criminal Justice System contains five sections: Overview; Involvement in Crime; Mothers in Prison; Inadequacies in Prison Services; and Barriers to Reentering the Community.

Women in the Criminal Justice System
notes that since 1985 the number of women in prison has increased at almost double the rate of incarcerated men - 404 percent vs. 209 percent. Reasons for the increasing rate for women are directly relatedto the 'war on drugs,' economic disadvantage, and the criminal justice system's failure to carefully consider women's involvement in crimes. The analysis also reports that 30 percent of all females incarcerated are black and 16 percent are Hispanic.

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