Over the past decade the female prison population in the United States has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Between 2000 through 2009 the number of women incarcerated in state and federal prisons rose by 22% compared to a 15% increase in the male prison population. While the number of incarcerated men still far exceeds the number of incarcerated women (which was estimated to be ~ 200,000 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, domestic abuse, and poverty are all strongly correlated with women’s incarceration. We are locking up victims and survivors instead of providing them with the treatments and services they need to live healthy and product lives.
Here is a quick look at the stats related to women that are serving sentences in our country’s prisons: