Mass Incarceration Of Women And Minorities A New Crisis

By Stacy M. Brown/ Seattle Medium

 
Women walk along a corridor at the Los Angeles County women’s jail in Lynwood, California April 26, 2013. The Second Chance Women’s Re-entry Court is one of the first in the U.S. to focus on women, and offers a cost-saving alternative to prison for women who plead guilty to non-violent crimes and volunteer for treatment. Of the 297 women who have been through the court since 2007, 100 have graduated, and only 35 have been returned to state prison. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW) – GM2E94R0Q8D01

Women walk along a corridor at the Los Angeles County women’s jail in Lynwood, California April 26, 2013. The Second Chance Women’s Re-entry Court is one of the first in the U.S. to focus on women, and offers a cost-saving alternative to prison for women who plead guilty to non-violent crimes and volunteer for treatment. Of the 297 women who have been through the court since 2007, 100 have graduated, and only 35 have been returned to state prison. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW) – GM2E94R0Q8D01

 

Although the number of people in prisons and jails in America has slightly declined, numbers recently released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics still show that nearly 1.5 million individuals were in prison by the end of 2017.

The statistics also note that the U.S. continues to lock up more people than any other nation. And, despite a narrowing disparity between incarcerated Black and White women, females have emerged as the new face of mass incarceration.

“I don’t think this should be much of a surprise as two of the main for-profit prison companies were founded around the same time,” said Ron Stefanski, whose website prisoninsight.com, works to hold prisons accountable for the treatment of current, former and future inmates.

“When these for-profit companies were created, they found a way to generate revenue off of inmates and this led to a huge influx of prisoners, both male and female,” Stefanski said.

In 2000, Black women were incarcerated at six times the rate of White women, but in 2017, Black women were imprisoned at less than double the rate of White women, according to the latest information.

The number of White women in prison has increased by more than 40 percent since 2000 while the number of Black women incarcerated has fallen by nearly 50 percent.

The most recent report from the Prison Policy Initiative revealed that, looking at the big picture shows that a staggering number of women who are incarcerated are not even convicted with one quarter of the women behind bars having not yet gone to trial.

Sixty-percent of women under the control of local authorities have not been convicted of a crime and adding to the picture of women in local jails, aside from women under local jurisdictions, state and federal agencies pay local jails to house an additional 13,000 women, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.

Full Article: https://seattlemedium.com/special-report-mass-incarceration-women-minorities-new-crisis/